TRAFFIC officers in Mthatha have cracked down on drunk drivers and netted at least 128 people at weekend roadblocks.
They were arrested over the weekend, some on Friday and others on Saturday, and appeared in the Mthatha Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Arrive Alive spokesperson Tshepo Machaea said the 128 transgressors were mostly professionals and high profile people. Some of the arrested drivers allegedly tried to bribe traffic officers.
“These are high-ranking members of the society who should know better than to drive while under the influence of alcohol.
“There are doctors, lawyers, police and teachers,” Machaea said.
He said drunken driving was proving to be a big problem in Mthatha, especially among the youth. One of those arrested had a breath alcohol reading of 1.75 milligrams a litre after being tested.
The legal breath alcohol limit is 0.24mg/l and the legal blood alcohol concentration limit is 0.05g/100ml.
Machaea said alcohol played a major factor in the cause of accidents. The traffic department has set up roadblocks at all the entry and exit points in Mthatha. A provincial task team of traffic officers has also been deployed to the area.
Machaea said all the roadblocks and task teams were a proactive measure in dealing with accidents.
“This is an on-going thing. We will bring in that task team whenever necessary,” Machaea said.
The 90-member task team is made up of traffic officers from all the 20 traffic stations in the province.
Machaea praised the task team and said they were dedicated officers who worked hard to prevent accidents on the roads and to enforce the law.
“Despite the rain on Friday and Saturday, they stood on the road and worked to save people’s lives,” said Machaea.