Car, bus or taxi —here’s how to have a hassle-free journey to your holiday destination
By ZETHU ZULU
Speeding. Drinking and driving. Not wearing safety belts. These offences are still the main causes of death on our roads during the festive season. In fact, 1 527 people lost their lives due to accidents in December 2017. This worrying statistic can be greatly reduced, says Simon Zwane, spokesperson for the Road Traffic Management Corporation. “Motorists are urged to play their part in reducing road crashes by obeying the rules of the road, avoiding alcohol, speeding and reckless driving,” he says.
Planning your trip ahead will save you a headache. Zwane says 7 pm-12 am and 4 am-8 am are high-risk times for accidents as visibility is very compromised. So make sure you set off at a time that allows for maximum alertness.
Before setting off, make sure all your papers are up to date. Has your driver’s licence expired? Is your car’s licence disc still valid? Are all your traffic fines paid up? These, Zwane says, could make or break your trip because if you’re stopped by traffic officials en route, you will be fined – or worse, locked up.
In some provinces, you can now sort out all your traffic errands online. Do take advantage of that to avoid standing in long queues.
For passengers using public transport, always use reliable service providers, and remember to book your tickets or withdraw enough cash ahead of time. Do have an emergency contact on hand should anything happen.
It also won’t hurt to let someone know where you’re going, as well as your estimated time of arrival so they can check up on you.
Be mindful of any road works or closures and keep an eye on weather conditions.
“Leave your cellphone alone!” cautions Advocate Johan Jonck, Arrive Alive’s manager. “Drive defensively and be respectful towards all road users,” he adds.