File photo: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
File photo: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Carnage on Western Cape roads continues amid speeding, drunk driving crackdown

By MTHUTHUZELI NTSEKU Time of article published Dec 27, 2019

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Cape Town – Drinking and driving and speeding remain the biggest culprits behind the carnage on our roads as the death toll continues to climb. 

Western Cape traffic authorities arrested seven motorists for speeding on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa said: “Since yesterday (Wednesday), we have arrested speedsters on the N1 between Laingsburg and Touws River, Three Sisters and Beaufort West and between Aberdeen and Beaufort West.

“Two drivers were arrested in Laingsburg, one for driving at 170km/h in a 120km/h zone. Another was also arrested for doing 172km/h in a 120km/h zone.

“Also yesterday, we arrested three drivers between Three Sisters and Beaufort West, all three of them driving at 166km/h in a 120km/h zone,” he said.

On Thursday, two motorists were arrested for driving at excessive speed between Aberdeen and Beaufort West, and on the N1 between Leeu-Gamka and Beaufort West.

Releasing the mid-festive season statistics of road fatalities during the week, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said the fight against the carnage on the roads remained steadfast.

He said he would work hard to use every possible avenue in law to oppose bail for those caught speeding in excess of 200km/h  in a 120km/h zone.

“We will apply the same vigour in ensuring those arrested for drunken driving and reckless and negligent driving are also denied bail, as these are major contributing factors to the high levels of fatalities on our roads.

“Those driving unroadworthy vehicles, in effect mobile coffins, will not be spared from this treatment,” he said.

A total of 237 people were arrested for traffic-related offences in the Western Cape between December 13 and 22. The arrests form part of the Provincial Traffic Department’s road safety campaign for the festive season.

About 1 521 speeding offences were recorded and 21 720 fines issued for various traffic violations ranging from driver to vehicle fitness to the amount of R17 464 800, with the highest speed record of 187km/h in a 100km/h zone in the Laingsburg service area.

More than 1 300 people are killed on Western Cape roads every year and alcohol was involved in at least 60% of these deaths.

Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said drinking and driving not only robbed families of loved ones but also had a negative impact on the economy, costing R29million a day and helping to trap millions in poverty.

“As we head into the summer months and the festive season, the Department of Transport and Public Works’ random breath-testing teams will be working with our municipal traffic partners to target events and venues associated with alcohol consumption. 

"Motorists planning on attending music and cultural festivals, trance parties and sports events are advised to make alternate travel arrangements to avoid drinking and driving,” he said.

With 86 road fatalities recorded in the Western Cape from December 1 to date, Madikezela said many motorists were still being arrested for drunk driving, excessive speeding and or reckless and negligent driving, thus endangering their fellow road users.

“We will continue with our planned 24/7 operations across our province to ensure that we remove all irresponsible motorists to safeguard the lives of innocent road users,” he said.

@Mtuzeli

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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