This was all that was left of an Opel Corsa that overtook vehicles in the face of oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a passenger bus on Sunday. Picture: supplied
Johannesburg - It was another Black Easter on South African roads with at least 33 dead in Gauteng, more than 30 in KwaZulu-Natal and 22 in the Western Cape, while the Road Traffic Management Corporation said on Monday it had issued nearly 20 000 fines for various traffic offences across the country during the Easter weekend.

Final figures for the country as a whole will only be made available on Friday, but t here have been more deaths on Gauteng’s roads this Easter weekend than in 2016, according to the Gauteng traffic police’s preliminary figures.

Traffic police spokesperson Busaphi Nxumalo said 33 road fatalities had been recorded over the weekend - 13 pedestrians, 10 passengers, nine drivers and a motorcyclist. But Nxumalo said they had not experienced any major accidents in the City of Johannesburg.

“When I say major I mean having five people dead in a single scene, but we had a few accidents that have been recorded over the Easter weekend,” said Nxumalo.

In 2016 police reported 156 road accident deaths over the Easter weekend countrywide, a decrease from 287 the year before. However, by Monday the national death toll for this year had not yet been released.

The Johannesburg metro police department attended a hit-and-run at Chris Hani Road and Alekhine Street, Protea Gardens on Monday. The vehicle that hit the pedestrian is currently unknown to investigators. The pedestrian attempted to cross the road and the vehicle did not stop after the collision.

On Monday Gauteng traffic police arrested a 43-year-old taxi driver on the N4. He was conveying 30 passengers in a 15-seater Quantum minibus taxi and, when he was tested for alcohol in his system, he exceeded the limit of 0.24 mg. He was charged with overloading and driving while intoxicated.

KZN's tragic weekend 

It was a tragic end to the Easter weekend on KwaZulu-Natal's roads with crashes on Monday claiming the lives of at least 15 people and leaving more than 40 injured.

Ten people, including three children were killed in a crash involving three taxis on Monday night three children were killed. KZN EMS spokesman Robert McKenzie said the crash, on the N2 towards Port Shepstone, also left nine people injured.

Earlier on Monday three people were killed and 35 injured when two taxis collided on the N3 in Mooi River. ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said the three were declared dead at the scene having suffered multiple injuries. The other passengers had injuries ranging from minor to moderate, and were taken to hospital.

Also on Monday, on the North Coast, one man died and six were injured when two parked vehicles were hit by a passing car. Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha said two vehicles had parked on the side of the highway and the occupants were changing a tyre on one of the cars when a third car crashed into both vehicles.

In New Germany, Pinetown, early on Monday, a driver was killed when his vehicle crashed into a crane. Rescue Care spokesman Garrith Jamieson said they were called out at about 3am and found the vehicle had veered off the road and hit a crane on the middle island of the road. The man had suffered major injuries and was declared dead at the scene.

McKenzie said 14 people had been killed on Good Friday when the bus they were travelling in veered off the road, overturned, and rolled down a 100 metre embankment before coming to a rest on the P15 road between Nkandla and Kranskop. Transport MEC Mxolisi Kaunda visited the scene and later said that the SAPS collision unit, the Road Traffic Inspectorate and Public Transport Enforcement Services would conduct an investigation.

'Change in behaviour' in Western Cape

At least 22 people died on the Western Cape’s roads this Easter, during a long weekend marked by a “change in behaviour from motorists”, said provincial Traffic Chief Kenny Africa.

In the Cape Town metro areas, nine crashes in Elsies River, Matroosfontein, Hindle Road, Athlone, Khayelitsha, Manenberg and Durbanville claimed the lives of three motorcyclists, three pedestrians and five passengers. Some of these had occurred in the early hours of the morning, said Africa.

There had been four crashes on Western Cape national roads, in which two drivers, eight passengers and one pedestrian died.

“Of the four crashes on the national roads, only two were head-on collisions. In the one at Klawer on the N7, eight people died when their Corsa collided with a bus."

20 000 fines issued

The Road Traffic Management Corporation said on Monday it had issued nearly 20 000 fines for various traffic offences across the country during the Easter weekend.

As traffic authorities braced themselves for a busy day, with scores of holidaymakers returning to urban centres, the RTMC reiterated its message to motorists to exercise patience and respect the rules of the road.

It said reports showed more 800 drivers had been arrested after cars were stopped and the drivers checked for various offences including drunk driving, speeding, and reckless and negligent driving.

About 500 public transport vehicles were impounded for operating without licences or operating on the wrong routes.

“An analysis of law enforcement statistics shows that speeding, overloading of goods and driving without driver’s licences or public driver’s permits were major offences during this period,” the RTMC said.

“A total of 4605 drivers were caught for speeding, 430 for overloading of goods and 1907 for driving without driver’s licences and public driver’s permits.”

Huge traffic volumes 

The RTMC said roadworthy vehicles were another key factor in road safety. As many as 1000 fines had been issued for vehicles with smooth tyres and 845 for faulty lights.

Meanwhile, the N3 Toll Concession reported huge traffic volumes between Durban and Johannesburg at midday on Monday, with more than 2000 vehicles an hour passing the Mooi and Tugela Plaza.

The Wilge and De Hoek Plazas each had more than 1500 vehicles an hour.

The Star, The Mercury, Cape Argus, ANA

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