Road users have been warned to obey the traffic rules during the busy festive season.
Acting transport MEC Pemmy Majodina threatened to ask the Department of Justice to keep offenders in jail until next month by delaying traffic offence cases.
She was speaking at the annual road safety launch in Mthatha yesterday.
Majodina and provincial police bosses also warned motorists coming from other provinces to change their attitudes before travelling on Eastern Cape roads this festive season.
Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga warned that traffic officers and the police were ready to paint each town and each road “blue” this festive season.
According to the Department of Transport, the province recorded a 20% reduction in road fatalities during last year’s festive season, with 211 deaths reported compared with 265 the previous year.
Majodina said about 645 traffic officers would be deployed in the province.
They would be supported by national traffic officers who had been deployed as reinforcements.
Ntshinga said mobile testing stations would be set up, especially on the treacherous N2 and R61 routes which accounted for the largest number of accidents each year.
“We are going to make it a point that we are visible on strategic routes.
“Cars that are unroadworthy will be towed immediately and drivers will be arrested,” she said.
Eastern Cape Liquor Board spokesman Mgwebi Msiya said they had closed about 400 illegal liquor outlets across the province since last year.
The board has been roped into the safety campaign as a partner by the Department of Transport.
“Alcohol is one of the major contributors in road fatalities, especially during this period, and that is why we are intensifying our efforts during this time,” Msiya said.