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Inner-City residents urged to embrace safety this festive season

Never try to cross flooded rivers, streets or streams; wear light-coloured clothing at night to be more visible and do not walk drunk as alcohol impairs your judgement.
These are some of the safety tips that the Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) has issued as the festive season rapidly approaches.

The Christmas holiday season is usually characterised by parties, merrymaking and copious consumption of alcohol, which often lead to reckless driving and people dropping their guard, putting their lives at risk.
“With the festive season drawing nearer, it is important for our communities to be more careful and vigilant,” says EMS Media Liaison Officer Robert Mulaudzi.

“We ask of drivers to be mindful of pedestrians and people with disabilities. We also ask of pedestrians to pay attention and be alert at all times. Always use designated pedestrian crossings, pedestrian bridges and traffic lights to cross the street,” said Mulaudzi.

He said walking or selling goods on freeways was strictly prohibited. Mulaudzi said things that some drivers might see as small or unimportant – such as checking the roadworthiness of their vehicles, wearing of seatbelts and sticking to the speed limit – could save their lives and those of other road users.
“Texting or talking on the cellphone while driving is very dangerous as it distracts you from what is happening on the road,” said Mulaudzi.

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department will be working tirelessly during the festive to enforce City by-laws to ensure the safety of road users.

On water safety, Mulaudzi said swimming was an essential lifeskill. “The safest way around water is to know how to swim. It is never too late to learn how to swim. Parents must make the swimming pool area safe for their children by erecting a fence around the pool with a locked gate or installing a safety net.

“Also, never leave small children alone or unattended around open sources of water such as bathtubs, sinks, basins, buckets and toilets,” he said.
With heavy rains likely to fall during this period, Mulaudzi urged residents to do the following:
*Make sure drains in their areas are cleaned regularly and are not blocked by debris as this could cause flooding;

*Never try to cross flooded rivers, streets or streams;
*Those in low-lying areas must monitor the water level and move to higher ground when the water level rises; and
*Listen to the radio for updated emergency information and be ready to evacuate the area immediately when there is a need to do so.

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