Reckless driving monitored as festive season kicks off

A head-on collision between a VW Polo and a Nissan X-trail on the R53, 10 km from Potchefstroom. PHOTO: ARRIVE ALIVE

While many lives were lost on the roads at the weekend, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) will assess the cause of deaths while vowing to clamp down on reckless driving this festive season.

Several lives were lost at the weekend, including the shocking death of 14 people in a head-on-collision between two minibus taxis in the Free State.

These fatal accidents included one involving two men in their 30s who collided head-on with a concrete support pillar for a bridge in Vanderbijlpark on Saturday evening.

“The two men were found entrapped and having suffered fatal injuries. Nothing could be done for them and they were declared dead on arrival,” said ER24 spokesperson Ross Campbell.

In Pretoria, a pedestrian was knocked down on the N1 north after the Rigel Road off-ramp on Saturday.

Emer-G-Med found a male pedestrian who was declared dead at the scene.

Both drivers lost their lives in a head-on collision between a Hyundai and Nissan X-trail near Potchefstroom on Saturday. Another man and a woman were in a critical condition and two other men suffered serious injuries and were taken to hospital.

“The front passenger of the [Hyundai] was found entrapped in the wreckage and the fire department used the Jaws of Life to extract him.”

“A 28-year-old woman was also found in the road, 15 metres from the vehicle, having been ejected. She was also in a critical condition and required advanced life support interventions to stabilise her condition before being rushed to Potchefstroom provincial hospital for emergency treatment…

“Unfortunately, she has since lost her life, bringing the death toll to three,” said Campbell.

But the early Saturday morning incident claimed the lives of 14 people after two minibus taxis collided on the R57 in the Free State at about 1am.

This was in addition to the deaths of nine people on Saturday morning in Mpumalanga when a light delivery vehicle carrying passengers overturned between Kwaggafontein and Moteti.

The RTMC is analysing the crashes to understand the causes, so as to strengthen their law enforcement plans, said spokesperson Simon Zwane.

“We have noticed that there are people who are travelling beyond the curfew times and some of these crashes have happened around that time.

“We have noted that also people are overloading passengers in light delivery vehicles, but these vehicles are not supposed to be carrying human beings,” he said.

“We will pay attention to that to ensure we can achieve our goal of reducing crashes and fatalities on our roads.”

Zwane said the large fatalities at the weekend could also be due to the wet weather.

“The rain could have played a role. It cannot be discounted. It has been raining very heavily.

“But, we shouldn’t make excuses for the recklessness and unwillingness of some drivers to take responsibility on the road,” said Zwane.

Rorisang Kgosana