Cape Town – While the road death toll mounts, hundreds of motorists have been arrested and more than double the amount of alcohol has been confiscated compared with the same period last year.

Road and Transport Minister Dipuo Peters’ office has recorded 800 deaths, nationally, since the beginning of the month – a 17percent increase in road crashes compared with last year.

The Department of Transport and Public Works is urging motorists to be responsible and to drive sober.

Pedestrians have also been reminded to heed the call as police, law enforcement and traffic officers have set up roadblocks across the country.

Zwane said 7000 motorists have been arrested at roadblocks across the country since the beginning of the December.

“The operations are aimed at reducing road deaths, but the number increases daily. We will continue with the operations to save lives.

“Officers have recovered illegal firearms, drugs and arrested motorists driving without a licence. The visibility of the traffic officers on the road makes a difference. We are ready to be where we are needed to save lives.”

Western Cape provincial spokesman for the Department of Transport and Public Works Byron le Hoe said 181 people were arrested for drunken-driving.

The arrests were recorded in Caledon, Somerset West, Mossel Bay and George. City mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said: “Road and beach safety are two priorities. “We are also working closely with the police to prevent crime and provide support when required.”

City law enforcement is set to secure beaches to prevent unruly behaviour and curb the consumption of alcohol.

Beach goers have been warned that cooler boxes containing liquor will be confiscated by police, who will conduct regular patrols.

This clampdown comes after 20407 bottles of liquor were confiscated since the beginning of the month.

During the same period last year, city police confiscated 9713 bottles of liquor.

Beach goers found in possession of alcohol will be fined R500 and their liquor confiscated, Smith warned.

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