The deaths of 20 people in three major crashes in parts of the country at the weekend should be a wake-up call to government to regulate the speed limit.
Richard Benson, founder of Cape Town-based road organisation the Road Safety Action Campaign, was reacting to yet another weekend of carnage on South Africa’s roads.
On Sunday at least 10 people, including a baby, were killed and 60 others injured when a bus overturned on the R528 in Magoebaskloof, near Tzaneen, in Limpopo.
The injuries ranged from minor to critical, according to ER24 spokesman Pieter Rossouw.
“ER24 paramedics treated and transported three patients to hospital,” he said.
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Three people were killed in crashes on Western Cape roads and another 37 arrested for various traffic violations, including drunk driving, on Friday and Saturday.
Provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa said the fatal crash happened on the N1 outside Laingsburg on Saturday afternoon, when a BMW tried to overtake a truck in the face of oncoming traffic. The car tried to get back into its lane, but it hit the truck and then a tree. The car went up in flames and all three occupants died.
People were arrested for a range of traffic violations, including reckless and negligent driving in Mossel Bay, bribery in Worcester, producing fraudulent documentation in Somerset West, possession of abalone in Grabouw, and speeding in Laingsburg.
Africa said 2484 vehicles were stopped, 1538 vehicles screened and 246 fines issued amounting to R323 000.
Africa said it was definitely good news that there had been only three deaths on Western Cape roads at the weekend.
“If we did not arrest those drivers, they would have caused other accidents. Our motorists need to change their behaviour to a more positive attitude. Don’t overtake when it is not safe to do so.
“We cannot tolerate this behaviour any more and if you think you can drink and drive, you will be arrested.”
A horror crash in the Free State on Saturday night resulted in six people, including two children, dying after a head-on collision on the R37.
The two cars were travelling between Heilbron and Sasolburg when they collided.
“Witnesses said one of the vehicles allegedly swerved into the oncoming lane and hit the other car head-on,” said Rossouw.
He added that a seven-year-old boy and a girl of about 14 were among the dead.
“A pregnant woman survived the collision,” he said. She was taken to Sasolburg Provincial Hospital.
In KwaZulu-Natal, paramedics said one person died and six were injured in a collision in Forest Road, Pinetown, on Sunday afternoon.[Source: The Star, Cape Times, ANA, IOL]