18 April 2017

South Africa: Mpumalanga Easter Road Crashes Decline

Mbombela — The Mpumalanga Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison has thanked road users in the province for their good driver behaviour over the Easter weekend.

Speaking to The Legislature Monitor (TLM) on Tuesday, MEC Pat Ngomane said while final figures of the Easter road crashes would be released later this week, preliminary statistics showed that there has been a decline in road crashes over this year's festive period when compared to 2016.

MEC Ngomane said motorists, as well as law enforcement agencies from across all spheres of government, contributed to this year's decline.

He said, however, that fatalities could not be taken lightly as one death on the road is one death too many.

"As much as we have managed to reduce the number of crashes, the number of fatalities remains a concern.

"One death is one too many, that is why we will continue with our strategies to make sure that we drastically reduce the number of people dying on our roads. We have arrested those who chose to disobey the rules of the road, and we will not rest until we bring to book all those who continue to break the law.

"Innocent people die on the road because of people who are selfish and fail to understand that they share the road with other people," he said.

MEC Ngomane said he could not give the exact figures in relation to road crashes as provincial and municipal officials were still consolidating the statistics.

"Preliminary reports show that traffic officers have arrested more than 200 motorists for violations varying from drunk driving and excessively exceeding speed limits as set in various roads.

"The highest speed was recorded on 15 April 2017 on the N3 Toll Road. The accused is a Korean national who was arrested driving at 208 km/h on a 120 km/h zone in a BMW sedan," he said.

The MEC also thanked traffic officials for increasing their visibility on the roads during this period.

He said that during operations, traffic enforcement agencies increased their focus on driving while under the influence of alcohol as this was seen to be one of the main contributors to most crashes.

The final results of the Easter road statistics will be released soon, the MEC said.

"As we are heading to another long weekend, our officers' presence in the roads will be very high and we are calling for community members to make sure that they report bad drivers."

He also said that motorists who consume alcohol after drinking must be reported.

"Taxi drivers and bus drivers breaking the rules of the road must also be reported.

"I [would like to] call on commuters to get out of either a taxi or a bus driven by a drunk person... start valuing your lives and move away. You cannot pay somebody your money to transport you while he or she is not worthy to drive you," he said. - SAnews.gov.za-TLM

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