Enforcement of traffic violations would intensify in the next few days as traffic volumes were expected to grow during the New Year celebrations, the Department of Transport announced yesterday.

More than 14000 people are killed on SA’s roads every year and there is usually a marked increase in deaths over the holiday periods.

The road death toll for the December period increased from 448 on December 16 to 840 on December 26. Of those killed, 218 were drivers, 327 were passengers and 295 were pedestrians.

Updated road death figures will be released at the weekend.

As part of the enforcement initiative during the festive season, more than 500000 vehicles and drivers had been stopped and checked. Traffic officials aimed to stop and check a further 500000 vehicles and drivers this month and next, department spokesman Logan Maistry said.

The focus would be to remove unroadworthy vehicles from the road, arrest people who drove while under the influence of alcohol and curb excessive speeding . Traffic officials also want to nab reckless and negligent drivers.

Traffic officials have already arrested more than 3000 people for driving under the influence . Officials have also removed 2000 unroadworthy vehicles from the road. They have also fined just over 280000 motorists for speeding.

“Road deaths are not accidents, but are avoidable incidents. It is for this reason that we are calling for a partnership with each and every South African against road deaths, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year,” Transport Minister S bu Ndebele said.

Said Maistry: “The minister said enforcement is key. We have spent billions of rands, as well as other resources, on engineering and education. From now on, it is going to be enforcement.”

The carnage on SA’s roads could be reduced if motorist s and pedestrians obeyed the rules of the road, he said.