The Transport and Traffic Authorities and all the citizens of
our country are deeply shocked by the recent spate of crashes involving trucks.
Over a period of about 4 weeks there were 5 fatal accidents involving trucks
resulting in the death of more than 58 and serious injuries of 40 innocent
bystanders. Speed too fast for circumstances, general reckless, negligent and
inconsiderate driver behaviour, as well as poorly maintained vehicles played a
major role in these accidents.
The freight industry works under the law of "time is
money", irrespective of the consequences or costs to the country and its
This position, which is totally unacceptable, cannot be
allowed to continue - Enough is enough. Consequently,
all provinces and other stakeholders agreed that a vigorous campaign to claim
back our roads and to stop the slaughter of innocents on our roads needs to be
embarked upon – they all agreed on the principles and spirit of Operation
Juggernaut to be implemented over the next three months, including the
forthcoming festive season.
Although the thrust of Operation Juggernaut, in
support of Arrive Alive is against unroadworthy freight vehicles, buses
and minibus taxis, all unroadworthy and unlicenced vehicles, as well as
unlicenced drivers will also automatically be targeted.
Major cities with multi jurisdictional enforcement
partnerships will be surrounded by a ring of steel so that every suspect vehicle
within a 20 kilometre radius of a weighbridge or vehicle testing station will be
escorted in for examination to determine the safety of the vehicle.
The National Arrive Alive Information Centre confirms that
speed, drinking and driving, fatigue, unsafe overtaking, ignoring of traffic
signals and other traffic signs, general reckless, inconsiderate, negligent and
aggressive driver behaviour, unsafe crossing of roads (Pedestrians), drinking
and walking (Pedestrians), tyre bursts, poor vehicle maintenance; brakes,
lights, steering and tyres, unsafe following distances are the main causes of
The severity rate of fatal accidents in terms of the average
number of deaths per accident is increased by the fact that seatbelts are not
worn as required. A recent survey indicated that 65% of drivers, 38% of front
seat passengers and 92% of backseat passengers did not wear seatbelts.
Battle Plan for Operation Juggernaut
In order to combat this continued daily carnage on our road
and street network all provinces, local authorities and other stakeholders will
join the battle in full force through "Operation Juggernaut", as
part of and in full support of the Arrive Alive campaign. The
KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport is fully committed to this National
Department of Transport road safety initiative.
The Plan and Timeframe
With effect from midday on Sunday 9th November
2003, all traffic law enforcement agencies in South Africa jointly and in full
force started to concentrate all enforcement nationwide on the following
categories of vehicles.
- All freight transport vehicles (trucks)
- All public transport buses
- All mini and midi-buses
- All unroadworthy vehicles
- All unlicenced vehicles
- All unlicenced drivers
Locations and Procedures
The sustained operation, with twenty-four (24) hour cover,
will run from Sunday, the 9th of November 2003 across the festive
season and into the new-year.
All traffic control centres (weighbridges) and government
vehicle testing stations countrywide will remain open for the duration of this
operation and accessible to other forces, as well as other suitable locations
for the setting up of regular roadblocks for the purpose of the following in
order to weigh as many trucks and buses as possible, irrespective of the
disruption which might be caused and to do so strictly in accordance with the
National Overloading Control Operational Guidelines.
The opening of all facilities will ensure that we are able to
brake test as many of these vehicles whether overloaded or not on brake roller
testers, to check for critical roadworthy items such as, Brakes, Steering,
Tyres, Lights, Cracked chassis, the manner in which axles, the suspension and
braking components are affixed to the chassis of motor vehicles and the
performance of these components and any other aspects that may influence the
safety of vehicles.
All these efforts would be complimented by harsh prosecution
of all offenders, suspension from use by issuing Notice to Discontinue Use in
terms of the National Road Traffic Act all unroadworthy, unsafe and/or
unlicenced vehicles, effecting load corrections, impoundment and arrests
wherever and whenever necessary and as provided for in various pieces of
legislation, to act firmly, fairly and professionally but with the firm
resolve to save lives through making our roads safer.
Administration, Logistics and Funding
The National Department of Transport sourced additional
funding from the Arrive Alive Fund, sponsored by the Road Accident Fund (RAF),
as well as through internal redistribution of funds to extend selectively for
this operation through the usual Arrive Alive channels and formats.
In this regard, funds specifically for law enforcement have
been made available to the various Provincial and Local Traffic Authorities, in
total R12 Million would be made available to provinces to execute Operation
A list of all the role players in Operation Juggernaut is
given below. The participation and dedication of all these roleplayers is
crucial to ensure the success of the operation:
- National Department of Transport
- National Minister of Safety & Security and the SAPS
- Minister of Justice
- National Director of Public Prosecutions
- National Department of Local Government and Constitutional
Development (Local Authorities)
- National Commissioner South African Police Service (SAPS)
- Provincial Departments of Transport, Roads and Public Works
- South African Local Government Association (SALGA)
- Institute of Traffic and Municipal Traffic Officers of SA
- South African National Roads Agency and Toll
Only through a joint and cooperative effort, involving all
these role players can the success of the operation be ensured.
Operation Juggernaut is designed to make our roads safe
and to restore our pride in our country after the horrific events of the last
weeks in which a lot of innocent people, many the poorest of the poor and the
only breadwinners of large families, have been killed, maimed or orphaned.
Government will, in the total absence of any self regulation
or self discipline, particularly within the freight industry as a whole, have to
take under careful review the re-regulation of the freight industry in order to
return its activities to government supervision and rigid control.
Operation Juggernaut is not a project on its own and
forms an integral part of the overall Arrive Alive road safety campaign.
Due to the fact that so many crashes happened during October 2003, which
involved freight and public passenger transport vehicles, Juggernaut is a
special project under Arrive Alive particularly aimed towards addressing driver
and vehicle aspects.