Despite several crashes and fatalities recorded over the Easter weekend, Transport Minister Blade Nzimande said the road death statistics, compared with last year, showed “deaths are 41% down” due to heightened law enforcement visibility.
Nzimande said police had managed to reduce crashes and fatalities on the roads, which signalled a significant development.
“Ideally, we would not like to see a single soul being lost on our roads, but we are happy thus far because nationally, in terms of road fatalities this time last year, we are 41% down. And we attribute that largely to our visibility,” Nzimande said.
“But we are concerned about the weather in parts of the country, as many people are travelling back to their homes.”
The Road Traffic Management Corporation announced yesterday that at least 549 drivers were arrested for various offences during the Easter holiday, with 312 of them nabbed for drinking and driving.
The highest speed recorded was in Gauteng, where a motorist was caught travelling at 196km/h along the N14 highway.
At 79 roadblocks, 65 000 fines were issued. On Saturday alone, 68 drunk drivers were arrested, while 19 pedestrians were arrested on Gauteng freeways. At least seven people were arrested for excessive speeding, while one driver was arrested for bribery and another for fraud. A total of 334 fines were issued.
On Sunday, Gauteng Traffic Police High Speed Unit arrested 11 people for excessive speeding and failing to adhere to the prescribed speed limit of 120km/h. All suspects are due to appear in courts to face charges ranging from reckless and negligent driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, to walking on freeways.
Gauteng MEC for community safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane said: “As the Easter weekend ends, we are anticipating high traffic volumes until late as people head back home. I am concerned about the number of road fatalities since the beginning of the weekend.
“All road users must be cautious on the roads.”
– Additional reporting by ANA