One person died and several others were injured when a car and a minibus collided head-on on the R54 between Fochville in Gauteng and Potchefstroom in the North West on Saturday afternoon. Photo: ER24
Johannesburg - At least 31 people lost their lives in 29 fatal crashes on Gauteng roads over the weekend, while 28 people were killed in the Western Cape.

Preliminary statistics from Joburg metro police department spokesperson Wayne Minnaar showed that 15 of the dead were pedestrians, and one was hit by a police vehicle in Roodepoort on Friday morning.

In another accident on Saturday, a female police officer operating a roadblock was killed by an alleged speeding drunk driver in Pretoria.

The incidents, which were recorded from 12am on Friday to 10am on Monday, also showed that 19 of the crashes occurred between 7pm and 4.30am.

Minnaar said 20 motorists were arrested for various traffic violations in Joburg over the weekend, with at least 13 being nabbed for drinking and driving in Gauteng.

In the Western Cape, 28 people died on the roads over the long weekend.

Most died in a taxi accident on the N1 near Touws River when a crash claimed the lives of 12 occupants.

In KwaZulu-Natal, 18 people were injured when the taxi they were travelling in overturned in Msunduzi on Monday.

On Saturday morning, four people died and five others sustained injuries when their vehicle overturned on the N3 near the Bergville toll plaza in KZN.

Two people died and another two were injured when two trucks and a car collided on the R21 between Pretoria and Kempton Park in Ekurhuleni on Friday night. Photo: Netcare 911.

Concerns have been raised about unruly late-night escapades in Ekurhuleni after the city said it had recorded an astonishing 31 road-related deaths since the beginning of December.

Wilfred Kgasago, spokesperson for the Ekurhuleni metro police department (EMPD), said that, as of 10pm on Sunday, 12 drivers, 10 passengers, one motorcyclist and eight pedestrians had died on the city’s roads, in what was believed to have been largely caused by disorderly behaviour at night and in the early mornings.

Three of the pedestrians who died were mowed down while crossing busy freeways, Kgasago said.

He added that although roads were expected to be calmer during the festive season because of people making their way out of the province for holidays, the small number of people who remained behind tended “to get out of hand”.

“Our analysis shows that most of the incidents happen between 10pm and 4am - mostly between midnight and 2am.

"A good percentage of these accidents are people in single vehicles, drinking and speeding, losing control, overturning, hitting walls or even crossing the median line, which results in head-on collisions. That’s the situation because at those hours of the night people think that it’s quiet and speed on the roads,” Kgasago explained.

He noted that to deal with the expected disorderly behaviour over this period, the EMPD would ramp up its crime-prevention operations, which weren't limited to road incidents.

The Star