Rise in death toll despite active traffic policing

2014-12-30 00:00

A TOTAL of 29 000 summonses have been issued to motorists for traffic violations in KwaZulu-Natal so far this December.

KZN Department of Transport spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said yesterday traffic police stopped over 139 000 vehicles on the roads and issued 29 000 written charges since December 1.

Of the summonses, 5 761 were for speeding, 2 267 for driving without a driver’s licence, 753 for suspension of unroadworthy vehicles, and 214 for driving under the influence of alcohol.

In addition, 36 motorists were arrested and charged on the spot for speeding, Ncalane said.

He said it is feared that the number of motorists who drive under the influence will rise ahead of New Year’s Eve.

Despite the vigilance of traffic police on the roads, the death toll in the province has risen to 203 in 173 crashes.

This is an increase from the 138 deaths recorded last year in the same period.

Meanwhile, a man was arrested for driving at 200 km/h in 120 km/h zone on the N3 near Park Rynie on the South Coast on Sunday. The man, Yunus Kazi, was granted bail of R4 000 in a Scottburgh court pending his next appearance in ­January.

MEC Willies Mchunu said it was worrying that people continue to lose their lives on the roads due to human mistakes.

“Most of these accidents are caused by people driving under the influence of alcohol and motorists who go out of their way to violate traffic laws. It pains me that people continue to lose their lives and we have such a high number of crashes,” said Mchunu.

He commended traffic officers for conducting overnight operations at accident hot spots to ­ensure that perpetrators are brought to book.

“Many people have been arrested for drinking and driving and speeding,” he said.

He added that the overnight operations will continue until the end of holidays.

“We warn those who undermine traffic laws to spare a thought for people’s lives. Our law ­enforcement officers will continue to ensure those found in the wrong are dealt with firmly.”

Meanwhile Transport Minister Dipuo Peters will release the latest deaths and crashes figures in Durban today.

Preliminary reports on the Christmas week ­indicated there were 539 crashes nationally and 677 fatalities. This is compared to 764 accidents and 917 fatalities in 2013.

• khanyisani.dlomo@witness.co.za

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