Huge traffic, many arrests, few fatalities on Lowveld’s roads

An accident which left a truck hanging off the bridge caused nearly R2 million in damage on the N4.

MBOMBELA – The Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison spokesman, Mr Joseph Mabuza, said final provincial statistics would be released today.

He confirmed that as of Monday morning, 196 people were arrested for drunk driving, 15 for speeding, one for reckless and negligent driving and one for interference.

In 2016 the accident rate in the province decreased to 35 from 57 in 2015. The fatality rate also dropped slightly from 16 to 15.

TRAC N4 spokesman, Ms Solange Soares Nicholson, said the highest traffic count on the N4 occurred on Thursday afternoon when 2 136 vehicles per hour were recorded at the Middelburg Plaza travelling towards the Lowveld. On Monday they reported 707 vehicles per hour from the Nkomazi Plaza travelling towards Mbombela. At the Middelburg toll gate, 1 435 vehicles were travelling per hour towards Johannesburg.On Saturday two separate accidents claimed two lives in the Pienaar area.

Also read: Government hopes for fewer road deaths

Two separate accidents claimed two lives in the Pienaar area.

A provincial ambulance was heading towards Pienaar when a white Volkswagen Polo allegedly overtook another vehicle and collided head-on with the ambulance. The driver of the Polo died on the scene and the passenger was transported to Themba Hospital with moderate injuries.

Two paramedics in the ambulance sustained head, shoulder and chest injuries, and were transported to Rob Ferreira Hospital.

That same afternoon on the Mpakeni Road, an 11-year-old boy was killed after falling off a tractor. He was allegedly sitting next to the driver of the tractor when the incident happened.

Also read: Road users resort to unusual tactics

A truck and a red Nissan collided on the N4 on Thursday morning. The driver of the red Nissan allegedly lost control when one of the tyres burst and veered into the lane of oncoming traffic, ultimately colliding with the truck. One of the car’s passengers was declared dead on the scene. The driver and another passenger were rushed to hospital with moderate injuries.

Read the original story here: Head-on collision kills one on N4

The truck driver left the scene unscathed, but his vehicle was left hanging off the side of a bridge. A TRAC N4 official at the scene estimated approximately R2 million in damages to the bridge.

Provincial commissioner of Mpumalanga SAPS, Lt Gen Mondli Zuma and department MEC, Mr Pat Ngomane, visited the Lebombo and Mananga border posts where the two senior officials helped in the smooth movement of traffic, and also warned motorists on the dangers of drunk driving and other Road Traffic Act violations.

They proceeded to the Oshoek Border Post where they were joined by the deputy minister of transport, Ms Cindy Chikunga, and other senior officials from the department.

Together they participated in a roadblock in the area where some people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and other violations.

During said roadblock, a bakkie transporting an unknown number of congregants was stopped approximately seven kilometres from the Oshoek Border Post.

Facebook users had lots to say about Mr Joseph Mabuza’s Facebook post about the arrest.

Also read the original post: Driver arrested, beers hidden under pastor’s gown

Mabuza wrote on his Facebook page that there were beers hidden under the pastor’s gown. Hlathi said the driver allegedly put down the beers next to the pastor.

Philippa Francis

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