Five people – including two police officers and a 3-year-old-child – have died as South Africa’s roads get busier in the festive season.
Yesterday morning, four vehicles were involved in a head-on collision between King William’s Town and Stutterheim. Among the cars was a police transportation vehicle taking a prisoner to the Stutterheim Magistrate’s Court.
The police car collided with a truck, and the officers died before they could receive treatment. The prisoner and the truck driver sustained limited injuries and were taken to a nearby hospital.
The drivers of the two other vehicles involved, a Toyota Yaris and a Mazda bakkie, were unharmed.
Meanwhile, another man died when his car smashed into a bakkie on the N8 highway in Bloemfontein yesterday. The bakkie driver was injured and taken to hospital.
In Mpumalanga, a man and his 3-year-old son died and a woman was injured when their car was struck from the side by a truck between Trichardt and Kriel. Paramedics were called to the scene around 7pm, but had to declare the man and his son dead on the scene. The 20-year-old woman was taken to hospital.
“According to witnesses, the passenger vehicle failed to stop at a crossing, where the truck collided with them,” said ER24 spokesman Christo Venter.
Earlier this week, the Road Traffic Management Corporation released its road death statistics from the December 1 to 16. Countrywide, 459 fatal crashes were reported, with 550 fatalities.
The major fatal crashes reported was four, meaning there were four incidents where at least five people were killed at once.
The corporation attributed most of these crashes to dangerous overtaking, excessive speed and drunk driving.
Traffic police will be keeping a close eye on all major roads in Gauteng over the festive season, the provincial Community Safety Department said yesterday.
“Law enforcers will be out in full force to ensure roads and freeways are safe and user-friendly,” spokesman Obed Sibasa said.
“We will target unroadworthy vehicles (public passenger vehicles, buses and taxis), overloading of goods and passengers not wearing seatbelts.”
Roadblocks and roadside checks would be set up at various points.
Places with the highest traffic volumes included the N1 North Hammanskraal and Phumulani Plaza, and the N4 East Diamond Hill. -The Star