Fatalities continue to drop

Spokesman for the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison, Mr Joseph Mabuza, said queues of vehicles from the Machadodorp Toll Plaza to the border stretched five kilometres.

MBOMBELA – However, both TRAC N4 and the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison (DCSSL) said despite the decrease, any death on the roads is one too many.

According to MEC Mr Pat Ngomane, “As much as we have managed to reduce the number of crashes, the number of fatalities remains a concern. We will continue our strategies to make sure that we drastically reduce the number of people dying on our roads.”

Also read: TRAC N4 prepares for another busy Easter

TRAC’s Ms Solange Soares-Nicholson said 32 accidents were recorded from April 13 to 17 on the N4 Toll Route, 25 of which were in South Africa**.

“This is a slight improvement from last year’s 33 (accidents) and a notable improvement from 2015 (with) 42 accidents,” she said.

The number of fatalities recorded throughout the route also decreased from five in 2016 – one in South Africa and four in Mozambique – to one in 2017.

Lowvelder reported on the accident which occurred last Thursday on the ring road near Mbombela when a truck collided head-on with a sedan. One of the car’s passengers was declared dead on the scene.

Nearly 200 people were arrested for drunk driving.

“Although TRAC acknowledges the decline in road accidents this holiday period, we have no cause to celebrate. A life was lost, and we believe one fatality on our road is one too many. We do, however, thank all road users who heeded our call to practise road-safety principles, because road safety is everyone’s responsibility,” Soares-Nicholson said on Wednesday.

On Monday a pedestrian was knocked down near Nkomazi Plaza. According to DCSSL spokesman Mr Joseph Mabuza, the road had to be closed to allow the ambulance through to attend to the patient.

He was transported to Rob Ferreira Hospital, but died from his injuries later that day. In the Pienaar area, two separate accidents claimed two lives on Saturday.

Also read: Trac warns of protest on N4

Preliminary reports show that traffic officers arrested more than 200 motorists for violations varying from drunk driving and excessive speeding.

Early on Wednesday morning a Jaguar driver, Mr Stanley Sedibe (40), was arrested near Alkmaar after being caught going at the speed of 231 kilometres an hour. He was released on R1 000 bail and and will appear in court on April 21.

Ngomane said the department would not rest until it brings to book all those who continue to break the law.

“Innocent people die on the road because of people who are selfish and fail to understand that they share it with other people,” he said.

The official statistics for road incidents over the Easter weekend are to be announced by the minister of transport today.

**It was originally published that of the 32 accidents were recorded from April 13 to 17 on the N4 Toll Route, 25 of which were in Mozambique. In fact, 25 of the accidents were recorded in South Africa and only seven in Mozambique. Lowvelder apologises to TRAC N4 for the error and any inconvenience caused as a result thereof.

Philippa Francis

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