Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba said the department had deployed additional staff at entry ports especially critical ones like Beit Bridge, Maseru Bridge, Lebombo, Ficksburg and Groblers Bridge. In addition to this operating hours have also been extended at selected ports.

Gigaba said the top five nationalities recorded as arriving and departing from South Africa were from Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Botswana, Mozambique and the UK.

ER24 spokesperson Chitra Bodasing also confirmed its teams across the country are on high alert as holidaymakers begin travelling for the Easter long weekend.

Bodasing told Traveller24 that each ER24 branch was on standby since there is an expected increase in emergencies and fatalities over the Easter holiday period.

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Last weekend saw ER24 attend to collisions involving 23 fatalities alone, and it wasn’t even the Easter weekend as yet. Traffic volumes across routes to the different provinces have already increased,  that is why we are urging people to be careful and to drive safe.”

“ER24 is on standby and will definitely attend where needed.”

“ER24 is on standby and will definitely attend where needed”

According to the Department of Transport, High Volume routes based on last years holiday period are as follows, with the most average vehicles per hour recorded at the N1 – Carousel plaza with 1 695 AVPH on 17 April 2014 (40 670 over the entire weekend), N1 – Kranskop plaza  with 1 597 AVPH on 17 April 2014 (38 329 over the entire weekend), and N3  Mooi with 1 468 on 17 April 2014 (35 220 over the entire weekend).

High Traffic volume routes to be aware of, based on the 2014 Easter Long Weekend stats

N1 – Carousel plaza
N1 – Kranskop plaza
N1 – Nyl Plaza
N1- Huguenot plaza
N1 – Verkeerdevlei
N2 – Groot Brak
N3 – De Hoek
N3 – Wilge
N3 – N3TC Harrismith WIM
N3 – Van Reenen
N3 – Tugela plaza
N3 – Marianhill
N3 – Mooi
N4 – Middelburg

Arrive Alive said in a release that a high alert has been issued for the N3 this coming Easter weekend, stating that the onus lies with drivers to ensure they play their part in minimising crashes.

Although these statistics show a positive trend towards general road safety, N3TC is very aware that the risks increase exponentially when traffic volumes are high, and therefore appeals to all road users to exercise extreme caution when they do travel during these periods, says Andy Visser, N3TC Marketing Manager.

Peak traffic conditions are expected on Thursday, 02 April between 10:00 and 21:00 and also on Friday, 03 April from 04:00 to 15:00. Easter Monday, 06 April is expected to the busiest day of all with extremely high traffic volumes expected between 09:00 and 21:00; and also on Tuesday, 7 April between 13:00 and 18:00.

The Easter road death toll dropped from a staggering 201 in 2013, to 148 in 2014, according to the Department of Transport.  During the launch of the 2015 Easter Road Safety Campaign, Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters said that even though the 26% decline was encouraging, road deaths were still a major cause for concern in South Africa  issuing a stern warning for road users to make safety a priority.

Speed and alcohol remain the main reasons for road accidents and an estimated 330 motorists were arrested over last years Easter weekend for drunken driving alone

In addition to this, parents travelling with children under three have been warned that the month of April, including the Easter Weekend, will be used as a warm-up period that will see law enforcement officers cracking down on parents who do not put the safety of their children first. Parents travelling with their toddlers will be obliged, by law, to strap them into a car seat come 30 April 2015.

Basic tips for drivers to adhere to:

”      If you are driving to your destination, conduct a safety check on your vehicle prior to leaving.
”      Make sure your wiper blades, headlights and signal lights are working.
”      Check all fluids in the vehicle.
”      Check your tyre pressure and inspect all tyres for irregular or significant tread wear.
”      Make sure you have a tyre jack, spare wheel and fire extinguisher in your vehicle.
”      Pack a blanket, torch and first aid kit in the vehicle.
”      Plan the trip and be rested.  Have a 15-minute rest every two hours and share the driving if possible.
”      Ensure children and pets in the vehicle are appropriately restrained.
”      Tow check when towing a trailer or caravan.
”      Do not speak on your cellular phone or text while driving.

It is important to have a first aid kit at home and when going away on holiday. A basic kit may contain:

”      A variety of plasters and small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings.
”      At least two sterile eye dressings.
”      Triangular bandages and crêpe rolled bandages.
”      Safety pins.
”      Disposable sterile gloves.
”      Tweezers and scissors.
”      Alcohol-free cleansing wipes.
”      Sticky tape.
”      Thermometer, preferably digital.
”      Skin rash cream. Cream or spray to relieve insect bites and stings.
”      Antiseptic cream.
”      Painkillers, cough medicine and antihistamine tablets.
”      Distilled water for cleaning wounds, eye wash and eye bath.

Keep a basic first aid manual or instruction booklet with your first aid kit. A detailed list of medical information, such as allergies, medication and blood group as well as telephone numbers of people to contact in an emergency should be kept.