At least 24 people died as a result of accidents in the Western Cape the last weekend before Christmas, the province’s transport department said on Monday.
“Sixteen passengers, four drivers, three pedestrians and one cyclist died over the weekend on Western Cape roads,” department spokesman Byron la Hoe said.
On Sunday, 12 people died in various vehicle accidents in the province – nine of them passengers in vehicles.
La Hoe said provincial traffic officers stopped over 3000 vehicles in 28 “alcohol blitz” roadblocks since Friday.
“Alcohol breath-testing was performed on 1 715 drivers and 23 were arrested,” he said.
Traffic officers who stopped a driver in Somerset West and administered a breathalyser test recorded the highest reading of 1.76 milligrams of alcohol per 1000 millilitres of breath – more than seven times the legal limit.
The law enforcement personnel also screened close to 8000 vehicles for speeding, recording 1253 speeding offences.
“The highest speeds were recorded on the N1 in the Brackenfell service area (173 km/h in a 120 km/h zone), on the N2 in the Swellendam service area (132 km/h in a 100 km/h zone) and on the N7 in the Vredendal service area (127 km/h in an 80 km/h zone),” said la Hoe.
“A total of 453 fines in the amount of R757,100 were issued for various traffic violations ranging from driver fitness violations to vehicle fitness infringements of the law.”
In another accident report, motorists came across a horrific accident scene on the road between Mbombela and White River, in Mpumalanga, this morning, the Lowvelder reported.
A bakkie overturned and landed on it’s roof close to the R40 and Touyz Road intersection.
According to Mr Joseph Mabuza, spokesman for the department of safety, security and liaison, the driver of the bakkie had lost control of his vehicle. He said that the cause of the accident is still being investigated and that more information may become available shortly.
“There were three people in the vehicle when it crashed. Two died on the scene and the third was taken to hospital with slight injuries,” he added.
Another accident had occured between Hendrina and Bethal, also in Mpumalanga, early this morning. Mabuza reported that two sedans collided on the R38 at 03:45. “Both drivers and their passengers died. Each vehicle had a driver and one passanger,” Mabuza said. One vehicle had an MP registration number, while the other vehicle was from Gauteng.