KwaZulu-Natal - More than 90 000 motorists have been fined in KwaZulu-Natal since December 1 for various road transgressions, including 174 for driving drunk at the long weekend, the provincial Department of Transport and the metro police said on Monday.
Fines were also issued for unroadworthy vehicles, speeding and driving without a licence.
Department spokesman Kwanele Ncalane said more than 200 000 vehicles had been stopped and checked in that period.
Despite attempts by provincial transport and traffic authorities to reduce festive season carnage on KZN roads, 60 people have died in road accidents since the beginning of the month.
At least 10 people died on KZN roads this weekend, including a motorist who was hit head-on by another driver who was apparently fleeing police at a roadblock on Nandi Drive on Sunday evening.
Two pedestrians were also knocked down by the motorist, who had failed to stop at the roadblock.
“When he failed to stop, officers gave chase and he eventually lost control of the vehicle, knocking down two pedestrians and crashing into an oncoming car,” said metro police spokesman Senior Superintendent Eugene Msomi. “The driver of the other vehicle died.”
The 55-year-old motorist was arrested and is expected to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court today on a charge of murder and two counts of culpable homicide.
The rising festive season death toll is worrying transport officials.
“The MEC is seriously concerned that the province has lost so many lives in such a short space of time,” Ncalane said, referring to Transport MEC Willies Mchunu.
Most of the accidents, he said, had occurred between midnight and 6am, an indication that traffic police needed to be on duty during that time.
“These are very awkward hours to be driving and the accident reports indicate that the majority of the drivers involved in these accidents were found to be driving under the influence,” he said.
“This shows that there is a need for visible policing even during these odd hours.”
Ncalane said 142 motorists were arrested for drunk driving last week.
“The arrests indicate that our plan is working and we can hopefully reduce the number of drunk drivers, not only on the province’s roads but the country as well,” he said.
Msomi said officers conducted several roadblocks across the city over the long weekend, arresting 174 motorists for drunk driving.
Of this number, 41 drivers were arrested on the M13 at Hillcrest on Friday night, and 48 were arrested near the beachfront the next day.
A further 70 motorists were arrested at the Nandi Drive roadblock on Sunday evening while 15 were arrested along the beachfront on the same day.
Msomi said police would intensify the roadblocks and deploy more officers. - Daily News