Concern over high rate of head-on crashes

2012-12-23 18:25
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Johannesburg - Twenty six people were killed and 44 injured in road accidents across the country over the weekend, according to reports by various officials.

The most deadly accident reported on Sunday took place on the N9 between Aberdeen and Willowmore in the Eastern Cape.

Eastern Cape traffic spokesperson Tshepo Machaea said five people were killed and seven injured.

"A minibus taxi overturned killing five people and injuring seven."

He said the taxi had a burst tyre, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle which then overturned.

A number of pedestrians were killed or injured in accidents on Sunday.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Santi Steinmann said a pedestrian was killed in Riverlea, Johannesburg, on Saturday night after being hit by a vehicle.

North West police said a 34-year-old man died after he was allegedly hit by two motor vehicles on the Magogong road in Taung.

ER24 spokesperson Vanessa Jackson said, in KwaZulu-Natal, a 25-year-old woman suffered severe injuries when a car hit her on the N2 in Winkelspruit.

The woman had apparently dropped her bag while crossing the road and was hit by a Mercedes Benz when she walked back to fetch it.

Among those injured in other accidents, Steinmann said two adults and four children were hurt after their car overturned just outside Klerksdorp towards Wolmaranstad on Sunday morning.

Jackson said a Cape Town man was injured after he collided with a police patrol van and then crashed into a perimeter wall of a house in Wynberg.

In another incident, a motorcyclist in Zonneblom in Cape Town was injured after he crashed his motorcycle, she added.

On Saturday, nineteen people, including a 1-year-old, were killed in accidents reported to Sapa.

Meanwhile on Sunday, border posts, including Beitbridge - entering Zimbabwe - and Lebombo - entering Mozambique - had cars backed up for kilometres.

A Zimbabwean man died from natural causes at the Beitbridge border post, after he got off a bus to go to the bathroom.

Overall, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said traffic volume on freeways had decreased by early Sunday.

RTMC spokesperson Ashref Ismail said it was concerning that so many of this weekend's accidents were head-on-collisions.

"Even in the most modern vehicle, the chances of surviving a head-on crash at speeds above 70 km/h are greatly reduced," said Ismail.

"The most common types of injuries related to a head on collision include spinal injuries, brain injuries, catastrophic injuries, broken bones, and even paralysis."

On Saturday, Ismail reported that 765 people have been killed on SA roads so far this month.

He said this high figure suggested it would be unlikely that the RTMC would be able to reach its target in reducing road fatalities.

The RTMC hoped to ensure that there were 25% less deaths this year, compared to the 1 771 people who died as a result of road accidents between December 1 2011 to January 10 2012.

- SAPA
Read more on:    rtmc  |  accidents
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