More than 2 100 motorists have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol since December 1.
Transport department spokesman Tiyani Rikhotsosaid on Wednesday: “This can't be normal - between December 1 and January 2, more than 2100 people were arrested for drunk driving.
“Families and the economy continue to suffer and bleed because we are losing manpower when people are killed in accidents. The department is concerned because we continue to witness unnecessary loss of lives.”
In the accidents over the festive season, alcohol and excessive speed were “common denominators” in many of the fatal crashes.
“We need to remove habitual offenders from our roads.”
“They are turning our roads into killing fields.”
“Some horrific fatal crashes on our roads are a result of negligence and reckless driving, where some fool decided to drink, get into a car and drive - and wipe out a whole family.”
Ashref Ismail, spokesman for the National Road Traffic Management Corporation, said 1207 had died on the country’s roads since the beginning of December.
On January 1, 18 people died and 17 were injured in various accidents across the country, according to a tally of accidents from Sapa reports.
Four people were killed and three others injured when a delivery van collided with a cyclist in Krugersdorp on the West Rand.
Five people were killed and three others seriously injured in a drag racing crash in Kagiso on the West Rand.
In Pietermaritzburg, two people died and three others were injured in a head-on collision.
Three people were killed and two others injured on the M13, Johannesburg, when the bakkie they were travelling in overturned.
A 28-year-old woman was critically injured when a car overturned on the N2 between Shaka’s Rock and Ballito.
In the Eastern Cape, four people in an ambulance, including two paramedics, were injured when it crashed while transporting a patient.
A five-year-old child suffered serious injuries when the car she was in collided head-on with another car near the Grasmere toll plaza. - Cape Argus