The Easter long weekend marks the first short holiday of the year, resulting in many families planning short vacations across South Africa.
Sadly, Easter is also a time of carnage on South African roads with many crashes and fatalities that take place during this period.
This year, Easter begins on Friday, 15 April and ends on Monday, 18 April.
The Automobile Association (AA) is urging all road users to obey the rules of the road, and be courteous to each other.
“Given the increase in traffic on main routes during the long weekend, there is always a spike in crashes and fatalities on our roads during this time.
It’s important for all road users – motorists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians – to remain focussed on the road and to obey the rules for their own, and others’ safety, on the road,” said the AA.
AA travelling tips this Easter
• Ensure your car is in a good working condition and that all the parts of the vehicle are functioning as they should.
• Tyres are a critical safety feature on vehicles (including those on trailers and caravans and including all spare tyres).
Ensure all tyres are in a good condition and that they have sufficient tread for your journey.
Also, ensure you have all the tools to change a flat tyre just in case you might need to.
Check that all are correctly inflated (check the owner’s manual for guidance) and that your tyres are balanced and aligned.
• Check your wiper blades (front and back) to ensure they function properly.
• Plan your route. Know where and how often you will stop on your journey (at least every two hours or every 200kms), how many times you will need to fuel up, and if you will need overnight accommodation.
• Roads can be congested over the holiday period with everyone trying to get to their different destinations. Leave earlier or later for your destination to avoid holiday traffic if you can.
• It’s always easier to travel with more than one driver to alternate driving duty. If that is not possible, stop to refresh, stretch your legs, and get some fresh air.
• Remember the rules of the road apply even if you are on holiday. Be courteous and patient with everyone that you share the road with.
• Make sure that your insurance and membership fees are paid up in case you need to make that emergency call.
• If no one will be home while you go on holiday. Make sure that there is adequate security so that all your belongings are still there when you come back.
“Easter is an important time of the year for many South Africans and should be a time of joy and celebration.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has launched this year’s Easter Weekend safety campaign.
“I am pleased with the strides that the provinces of Gauteng and Mpumalanga have taken to introduce a 24/7 shift system for traffic officers in their respective Provinces.
“This will assist in improving the visibility of traffic officers on the roads at all hours of the day,” said Mbalula.
NOW READ: What to do and where to go for the Easter Weekend