The majority of matric pupils wrote their last exams yesterday, meaning the annual end-of-matric celebrations, otherwise known as ‘Matric Rage’ parties, will soon be getting under way. Debbie Schäfer, the Western Cape Education MEC, along with the Minister of Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant, has warned matriculants to party responsibly.
“We encourage all candidates who will be participating in ‘Matric Rage parties’ to exercise moderation, and to use additional registered car services and public transport services that are available when travelling between venues if under the influence of alcohol,” the Ministers said in a joint statement.
Both provincial and municipal traffic services will be on high alert during this time, and will be ready to deal with any eventualities.
“A no-nonsense approach will again be adopted during this time. Let us work together to ensure that this time of celebration isn’t marred by reckless and irresponsible behaviour that endangers lives. We must work in partnership to avoid any unnecessary injury or death at all costs,” the Ministers said.
The most popular Matric Rage destinations in the Western Cape include Hermanus and Plettenberg Bay, and matriculants are encouraged to exercise caution when travelling on roads, especially on their way back to their accommodation after a party.
The Ministers set out the following rules for those celebrating:
– Always make sure there is a responsible driver that is not under the influence of alcohol or other substances that affect their ability to drive
– Always obey the speed limit and other rules of the road
– Avoid distractions whilst driving, including the use of cellphones
– Avoid late-night driving when possible, as well as driving when tired
– Ensure that driver and passengers are always buckled up.
Not wearing a seatbelt is against the law and extremely dangerous. “Unbuckled passengers become wrecking balls in a collision, and kill and severely injure others, even passengers who have buckled up,” they said.
“Just last year alone, our Provincial Traffic Services, together with our municipal partners and the SAPS, conducted various operations around the Matric Rage period including a total of 27 operations focused on checking vehicle safety, speed, and driving under the influence. Two Male adults were arrested for driving under the influence in Plettenberg Bay over this period at these operations. This year we will be focusing on making our roads even safer. We will continue to have a strong law enforcement presence on our roads over this period, and encourage those who will be attending parties to celebrate responsibly, and follow all the rules of the road. Alcohol and the roads simply do not mix,” said Grant.
“We are grateful that such celebrations in recent times have been conducted without any serious incident. We hope that this year will be no different. Candidates are also reminded that they must be available to write up until the 9th of December 2017 for any eventuality that might occur until the end of the examination process,” Schäfer added.
“I appeal to all matric candidates not to spoil what should be a well-earned celebration. You have the rest of your lives ahead of you – a moment of irresponsibility can have a lifetime of consequences,” she said.