JMPD’s Easter weekend blitz nets hundreds
A total of 693 motorists were arrested in Johannesburg over the Easter weekend as the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) tightened its grip on unlawful behaviour on the city’s roads.
JMPD Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said 640 motorists were arrested for drunken driving and a further 53 for speeding during a zero-tolerance blitz that saw increased police visibility on the roads and intensified operations in several hot spots across the city. According to Chief Supt Minnaar, only three road fatalities were reported on the city’s roads during this period – one of the lowest figures recorded in years.
On Wednesday Transport Minister Dipuo Peters announced that a total of 287 people were killed on South Africa’s roads over the Easter holidays. Of these fatalities, 38 occurred in Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg. Chief Supt Minnaar described the Easter road safety campaign in Johannesburg as “a huge success”.
The blitz, called “Operation Ke Molao” (It’s the Law), was launched by Executive Mayor Councillor Parks Tau in Marlboro on the eve of the long weekend. During the launch, the Mayor said an indication of the success of the campaign would be the ability to measure a reduction of accidents and fatalities associated with driver fatigue and behaviour.
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Public Safety Councillor Sello Lemao urged road users to take responsibility for their own safety.
On Wednesday Chief Supt Minnaar said motorists arrested for speeding over the long weekend were travelling at more than 40km/h over the speed limit and had all been charged with reckless and negligent driving. He added that the speedsters had all been arrested in what JMPD considered to be “high accident zones.”
“Our arrest rate for this period is very high and the fatalities low due to the high police presence and visibility,” he said.
The operation included the simultaneous coordination of 22 roadblocks on linked roads to maximise the likelihood of being stopped and searched. The JMPD also deployed patrol officers on all major highways and issued discontinuation notices for unroadworthy vehicles.