Cape Town - Transport and traffic officials say they noticed a pleasing decrease in traffic incidents over the Easter weekend, despite still recording several fatalities and car crashes.
Before the long weekend, the Department of Transport and Public Works, in conjunction with the Office of the Premier, launched the Province’s Easter Traffic Safety Plan, placing focus on the use of seat belts.
Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell said: “Seat belts save lives, and the law requires that all vehicle occupants wear an appropriate seat belt. Wearing seat belts reduces the risk of death in motor vehicle crashes by up to 45%. Seat belts prevent 99% of occupants from being ejected in a crash.”
Alongside encouraging motorists to buckle up, the Western Cape’s traffic officials continued with their structured enforcement interventions supported by road safety education, communication, and awareness programmes to positively influence road users to act responsibly while on the road.
“We experienced traffic volumes as expected with the peak traffic starting from Thursday afternoon going into the evening as the exodus started. Friday people still made their way to weekend destinations and on Sunday as the traditional weekend ended.”
Mitchell said the department recorded only one major incident, a crash on the N1 between Leeu Gamka and Beaufort West.
“Preliminary reports indicate that 11 people died and 13 were left injured in the crash. While the Leeu-Gamka incident was one of the most devastating we recorded, we also had another accident on the R43 between Hermanus and Stanford, where three people were killed and three seriously injured."
“If we look at the last 24-hour period, two people lost their lives on our roads and another two in the preceding 24-hours,” Mitchell said.
Traffic officials also recorded two other road crashes yesterday just outside De Doorns where a taxi overturned in the Hex Pass and in Malmesbury where two people died.
Police spokesperson Andre Traut said Malmesbury police have since opened an investigation into the fatal crash.
The City’s Safety and Security Directorate said it had recorded a decrease in the number of incidents on roads across the city owing to its investment in smart technology and data-led enforcement.
Safety and Security Mayco JP Smith said: “While we are still collating all stats, we can see the combined strategic efforts have paid off, with one fatality picked up by the CCTV surveillance section and the 107PECC for Thursday, compared to three for the last year.”
Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) teams also had their hands full, rescuing several hikers.
On Saturday, WSAR teams, including MSAR members, responded to an incident where a tourist had fallen on Lion’s Head.