A fatal crash near Empangeni. Photo supplied.
A fatal crash near Empangeni. Photo supplied.

Easter weekend: More expected to die on roads due to negligence

By Lethu Nxumalo Time of article published Apr 5, 2021

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Durban - KZN recorded its first Easter period fatal crash on Thursday when a head-on collision on the N2 near Zinkwazi Beach, claimed three lives.

One vehicle caught alight on impact while two passengers were still trapped inside. Eight others suffered serious injuries and were transported to Stanger hospital.

So far, five road accidents resulting in eight fatalities have been recorded in the province. These resulted in four deaths in the Empangeni region, two in Ladysmith and two in Durban.

Zinhle Mngomezulu, Road Traffic Inspectorate spokesperson said with the relaxed lockdown conditions, more cars were on the roads and that more incidents were imminent as many travellers would be heading back to their provinces.

“When we compare our figures from last year, there has definitely been an increase. The Easter weekend is still not over and numbers are most likely to rise,” she said.

Mngomezulu said almost 4000 vehicles had been stopped since the beginning of the long weekend and suspects were arrested for various charges including drunk driving, exceeding speed limits, inconsiderate driving, seat belts and unregistered vehicles.

Thania Dhoogra, N3 Toll Concession operations manager, said compared to previous years traffic patterns had remained similar but they had not fully assessed the volumes.

She said according to their forecast, the roads had become quieter by Saturday and that they were happy with the low numbers.

“We were expecting that the traffic would be busy on Thursday but it started earlier than we had anticipated.”

Dhoorgra said there had been a low number of incidents but traffic will start picking up from today.

“The sheer volume of traffic causes impatience in drivers but we have no constructions currently on our roads, they are all open,” she said. “Driver behaviour plays a factor. You have to keep patient while driving, and take regular stops.”

Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad, metro police spokesperson, lamented the ill-discipline on the roads saying most accidents had occurred due to negligence.

“Drivers are drinking and driving, pedestrians are drinking and walking and our increased fatality rate is partly due to road accidents,” he said. “There is bad behaviour on the roads and sometimes in accident scenes drivers drive contraflow endangering themselves and others lacking patience.”

Peggy Nkonyeni KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison said police would continue to keep a watchful eye on liquor outlets and other businesses to ensure compliance with their licence conditions and Covid-19 restrictions.

She denounced the reckless behaviour of the 21 drunk drivers who were arrested on Friday for drunken driving.

“Thousands of lives are lost each year and most accidents are as a result of human behaviour such as drinking and then proceeding to drive, therefore, putting the lives of other road users at risk. There are far too many people dying on our roads and the 21 motorists who were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol could have killed many innocent road users, so harsher punishment must be meted out against drunk drivers,” she said.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE

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