710 festive season road deaths

2011-12-20 17:36

Johannesburg - Since the beginning of the festive season on December 1, there have been 710 fatalities on South Africa's roads, the road traffic management corporation (RTMC) said on Tuesday.

Almost 600 fatal crashes were recorded between December 1 and December 19, spokesperson Ashref Ismail said.

Factors that contributed to the crashes were high speed, dangerous driving, fatigue among long distance minibus drivers, overloading and tyre failure.

Between December 12 and 18, more than 1 000 motorists were arrested for transgressions including drunken driving, excessive speed, overloading and reckless or negligent driving.

"A total of 215 467 vehicles were stopped in that same period across the country, and 1 625 vehicles were discontinued," Ismail said.

Heavy traffic was expected on various major routes ahead of the Christmas weekend.

"Motorists are urged to obey speed limits, ensure that your vehicle fitness [check] is done and rest when tired.

"Mixing energy drinks and whisky does not help with fatigue. While it will give you a temporary high, it will result in an immediate slump in energy levels. Fatigue requires rest."

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