slowdown: Police stop a truck at a roadblock in the northern Cape. The traffic authorities, who launched the Get there with no regrets campaign this week, are keeping a wary eye on the figures for head-on collisions because of the toll these incidents take in deaths and injuries. Picture: Andrew Ingram

Road safety traffic authorities say head-on collisions on our roads are becoming an increasing concern.

By Saturday 765 deaths had been recorded since the beginning of this December. There had been 564 crashes in which one or more people had died.

Road Traffic Management Corporation spokesman Ashref Ismail said: “Major contributory factors to deaths remain speed, pedestrian negligence, drinking and driving, drinking and walking. Our other cause for concern is head-on collisions, as they claim many lives at once.”

The corporation this week launched a new road safety campaign called “Get there with no regrets”. The campaign seeks to alert and encourage motorists to think before they get behind the wheel.

Ismail said the corporation’s biggest challenge was maintaining order with motorists travelling north and towards the borders.

He added said that at night officials found vehicles that were grossly overloaded and being driven at high speed.

“We’ve encountered strange incidents in some vehicles. These include... livestock being kept in a passenger confinement space.

“We’ve also come across extremely aggressive individuals at our drinking and driving roadblocks. They’ve caused major headaches for our officials,” said Ismail.

Ismail said more statistics on fatalities would be released on Monday.

Yesterday reports of fatal crashes flooded in.

Six people were killed and five injured when two vehicles collided head-on along the N3 highway between Warden and Villiers. The vehicles – a Toyota Tazz and a Vito van – caught fire on impact.

The injured were stabilised on the scene and taken to a local hospital.

In a separate incident, three people were killed when their bakkie collided with an Eastern Cape health department mortuary van in Uitenhage.

The driver of a Toyota Venture and two of his passengers were killed in the accident, which took place on the Old Cape Road shortly after 10am yesterday. Three other people in the Venture were seriously injured and taken to hospital. The two people in the government vehicle were also injured.

In KwaZulu-Natal, a driver crashed his car into the back of a bus on the M13 near Kloof. Paramedics arrived on scene and found the driver trapped behind his steering wheel. He sustained neck and back injuries, chest injuries and facial injuries.

Rescue equipment was used to extricate him from the vehicle and advanced life support intervention was used to stabilise him. It is unclear what caused the accident.

A man died and another was seriously wounded when their vehicle collided head-on with a heavy goods vehicle on the N2 highway at Umgababa, in KwaZulu-Natal. The accident happened near the Shell Ultra City on Thursday night.

Reports from the scene indicate that the goods vehicle was travelling in the opposite direction to the car.

The car’s driver was killed on impact. His passenger sustained serious injuries. He was stabilised and taken to the Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital.

In March this year, the corporation announced that up to 835 fatal crashes were recorded across the country during last year’s festive season.

It said that 1187 deaths were recorded. The deaths related to motorists, passengers and pedestrians. -Saturday Star