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Roadblocks are a reality this Festive Season

Published on: 18 December 2017

The festive season is filled with joy and excitement, it is also filled with more reckless behaviour and roadblocks. Whether you’re quickly driving out to the mall or driving back from a night out, there’s a higher chance of bumping into “metros” at this time of the year. As much as they may seem like an inconvenience, roadblocks are enforced to ensure safe roads for all road users.

Here are 5 tips to help you get through a roadblock:

Follow instructions
Be attentive and follow instructions given by the officer when approaching a roadblock or being pulled over. Stay calm and interact with the officers on duty with respect; present all the necessary documentation when requested.

Verify the roadblock
As a road user, you also bear the responsibility of ensuring your own safety at a roadblock. You have the right to ask for identification and a written authorisation certificate signed by the National or Provincial Police Commissioner from police officers to verify the operation.

Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy
Being on the road is safer when using a certified roadworthy car; get your car checked before your long festive season drives. If you are stopped with a non-roadworthy car at a roadblock, you will not be allowed to continue with your trip as you are considered a road risk.

Know what you can and can’t get arrested for
Arrests can be made at a roadblock, however, you can avoid finding yourself inside the back of the police van by being compliant and following the road rules. Should you find yourself in an arrest predicament for any of the following, you need to be informed of your rights as a South African citizen:

  • Refusing to take a breathalyser test;
  • Found to have high amounts of alcohol in your blood;
  • Overdue unpaid fines (with a warrant issued against you);
  • Physically or verbally assaulting an officer.

Gather evidence if need be
Should you find yourself in a situation where your rights are being violated, take down as much evidence as you can. For instance, the officer’s badge number or the vehicle number that is on the side of their patrol car. In South Africa you have the right to film (or record) the officers that you believe are acting unlawfully – this is a good way to gather evidence.

Why run the risk of taking the joy out of your festive season when you can be informed, obey the road rules and arrive alive? If you’re going to be out-and-about this festive season, book yourself a WeDrive and let MiWay drive you home in the comfort of your own car. Choose the safer way home and skip the road trip frustrations.