Three schoolgirls were killed and one left in a critical condition after being hit by a taxi in the Newlands East area of Durban on Wednesday. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency(ANA)

Tshwane - The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) on Wednesday night welcomed the arrest of a driver who was behind the wheel of a taxi when it collided with and killed three schoolgirls in the Newlands East area of Durban. 

"The RTMC commends the police for their quick response and ensuring that this driver is held accountable for his irresponsible and unacceptable conduct that is not in-line with the principles of the Road Traffic Act," said RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane.

"Reckless and negligent drivers on South Africa’s roads kill far too many innocent people. Statistics show that pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users, accounting for 38 per cent of all road traffic crash victims. KwaZulu-Natal is one of the provinces with the highest number of fatalities."

The RTMC called on prosecutors to oppose bail for the 33-year-old and ensure that the driver "remains in custody for at least seven days". 

"The courts should give him the harshest punishment possible, including the cancellation of his driving licence," said Zwane.

It is alleged that the driver skipped a red traffic light before colliding with the girls, who were on their way to school.  A fourth girl is in critical condition in hospital.

"The RTMC sends its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the schoolchildren and wishes the injured ones a speedy recovery."

The man will likely face three charges of culpable homicide and is set to appear in court this week. 

African News Agency (ANA)