Picture: Supplied by ER24

Johannesburg - At least 91 people have died and over 275 others were injured in road crashes involving trucks and buses on South African roads so far this year, the Road Traffic Management Authority (RTMC) said on Monday.

The traffic management authority warned bus and truck operators to obey traffic rules or face ''severe consequences.''

''Regulations impose duties on the operators to exercise control over their vehicles and drivers while on public roads. This includes the responsibility to ensure that vehicles are in a roadworthy state and drivers are fit and proper to operate those vehicles," said RTMC spokesman Simon Zwane.

"Failure to execute these responsibilities could result in the cancellation of operator permits with severe consequences for businesses concerned. Vehicles can also be impounded and prevented from continuing their journeys until all defects have been repaired. Criminal charges could be imposed where fatal crashes are involved."

The warning comes after the death of 27 people in a horrific accident along the N1 in Limpopo on Friday. The driver of the truck transporting cement lost control of the vehicle, faced oncoming traffic and collided with four passenger vehicles, including a 22-seater Mercedes Benz bus. One of the vehicles burst into flames on impact. Four people survived the crash and were taken to hospitals.

''Failure to keep vehicles under control, driving in the face of coming traffic, driving at excessive speed and failing to keep a proper lookout have been identified as some of the human factors that contributed to the majority of these crashes. Mechanical failures and road conditions contributed to a very small number of the crashes,'' Zwane said.

African News Agency (ANA)