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Durban - A woman caught allegedly speeding at 205km/h in a silver BMW on the N2 highway near Gingindlovu, on the North Coast, should have had her licence suspended, says a drunk driving awareness NGO.
South Africans Against Drunk Driving founder and director, Caro Smit, said the licence of motorist, Deveshnee Munsamy, should have been suspended automatically and she should have been fined heavily by the Road Traffic Inspectorate.
“At 205km/h her driving licence should have been suspended immediately, because if you exceed the limit by over 40km/h, they have the authority to do that, it is terribly dangerous and she should be fined R40 000 at least,” she said.
Munsamy was arrested by RTI officers early on Wednesday and charged with speeding.
She appeared at the Gingindlovu Magistrate’s Court yesterday and was released on R1 000 bail. She is expected back in court soon.
Transport MEC Willies Mchunu has condemned “reckless action” on the roads and speeding, which is “costing innocent people’s lives”.
“Just last weekend alone we lost 25 people in various accidents across the province,” he said.
Mchunu on Wednesday revealed that 334 lives had been lost on KwaZulu-Natal roads in July and August.
In July, 181 people lost their lives on the roads, while in August, 153 more people died.
“I am really not surprised, because there is a lot talk from the Department of Transport, but not enough action.
“They have big road shows, spend R1 million a month, hiring big tents, handing outT-shirts and food, and then they say to the people, ‘please behave’,” Smit said.
“That does not work. The only way that you can change the behaviour of people is if they face the repercussions of their actions, they must be tested and fined, and the police must be active 24 hours a day,” she said.
Smit said traffic police were focusing too much on speeding motorists and said they should enforce the law and check for the use of seatbelts as well.
“We have all these crashes and people get flung out of windows and die. If those people had been wearing seatbelts, it would reduce the chances of them dying in accidents,” she said.
Mchunu said excessive speeding contributed to the increase of road fatalities on KZN roads.
“I strongly condemn this attitude by some motorists because it endangers the lives of other road users,” he said.
“This (Munsamy’s) arrest should serve as a lesson to the driver concerned and all motorists in the province. Following Sunday’s tragic R66 bus accident (near Melmoth) which claimed 10 lives, we expect motorists to know better and respect road traffic rules,” said Mchunu, referring to the accident that killed eight Zulu maidens and two minders on their way home from the Reed Dance.
More than 60 other people on the bus were injured, with others fighting for their lives in various provincial hospitals.
The KZN Transport Department said it was “now time for road users to fully understand that excessive speed, impatience and other reckless driving tendencies undermined traffic laws which resulted in fatal accidents”.
“Just last weekend alone we lost 25 people in various accidents across the province. Surely this is alarming and requires all of us as road users to change our mind-set and respect the rules, and accept road safety as our collective responsibility,” said Mchunu.
Smit said unroadworthy taxis and buses were being allowed to operate.
“We then take young inexperienced drivers and allow them to drive, they speed and then people die.
“The department is feeling sorry for these people by saying they need to make a living for themselves, but their making a living… leads to more deaths, we need to concentrate on enforcing the law, not just political talk,” she said.