Over 1 100 people have died on South African roads during the festive season, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said on Wednesday.
“Preliminary statistics of people who have died on roads across the country from December 1 to 28 are 1 149 out of 958 fatal accidents,” acting CEO Collins Letsoalo of the RTMC said in a statement.
There were 1 304 deaths from 1 013 fatal crashes during the same period last year.
The three provinces recording the highest number of accidents were KwaZulu-Natal with 185 crashes, Gauteng with 169 crashes and Eastern Cape with 131 crashes.
“The major contributory factors remain speeds too high for circumstances, tyre failure, fatigue, dangerous overtaking and drinking and driving.”
A total of 1 051 people were arrested for drinking and driving in the past week.
“We will show no mercy. If we catch you drinking and driving, you will be arrested and if convicted, have a criminal record for life,” Letsoalo.
Due to the high number of deaths on the country’s roads this festive season, the RTMC was working with municipal and provincial authorities to clamp down on traffic offenders in the remaining days of 2010.
Roadblocks, roving patrols, ghost squad patrols and patrol vehicles equipped with moving violation recorders and number plate recognition equipment would be used to police traffic offenders.
Letsoalo said motorists in “severely unroadworthy vehicles” would, in addition to a fine, also have the their vehicle’s licence disc removed.
“The same will apply to speedsters who deliberately remove registration plates, display fraudulent plates, obscure plates or use hairspray or laser jammers in order to defeat speed cameras,” the RTMC said. – Sapa