The exodus out of the city is picking up in earnest with high traffic volume through the Huguenot Tunnel heading for other coastal towns and inland destinations.
According to Provincial Traffic chief Kenny Africa most vehicles are heading for the Eastern Cape.
Since the start of the week seven lives have been lost on the province’s roads, six of them pedestrians.
“We have got a major problem with pedestrians on our roads in the province.
“Last year, from December 1 to December 20, 41 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents and this year, around the same period, we have recorded the same number,” Africa said.
Africa pleaded with pedestrians to stay off the roads when under the influence of alcohol and to walk on the right side, facing oncoming traffic.He said authorities would not show mercy to those who disobeyed the law.
Richard Bosman, executive director for Safety and Security, said drivers must make sure that their vehicles were fit to hit the road as the Christmas holiday rush gets under way.
Since the beginning of Operation Exodus on December 13, and ending today, examiners have put 1 087 vehicles through their paces. Buses accounted for 70% of vehicles checked and 55% of all vehicles tested were deemed compliant.
“However, it is not just about submitting to the vehicle test, but also correcting any defects that are identified before hitting the road.
“I remind drivers that should anything happen on their journeys and it becomes apparent that they were aware of defects but failed to act, they could face significant criminal consequences,” said Mayco member for Safety and Security, JP Smith.
Bosman said over the festive season two big causes of accidents were speeding and driver fatigue, where drivers were not resting because they hurried to get to their destinations.
“Long-distance drivers should ensure that the car is in good working order. The tyres must be checked and pumped up properly and cars must have enough petrol. They should ensure that at least every two hours they take a rest for at least half an hour to not get fatigued and get involved in accidents,” he said.