December road death toll tops 1 100
Johannesburg - Over 1 100 people have died on South African roads during this festive season, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said on Wednesday.
"Preliminary statistics of people who have died on roads across the country from December 1 to 28 are 1 149 out of 958 fatal accidents," acting CEO of the RTMC Collins Letsoalo said in a statement.
There were 1 304 deaths from 1 013 fatal crashes during the same period last year.
The three provinces recording the highest number of accidents were KwaZulu-Natal with 185 crashes, Gauteng with 169 crashes and Eastern Cape with 131 crashes.
"The major contributory factors remain speeds too high for circumstances, tyre failure, fatigue, dangerous overtaking and drinking and driving."
A total of 1 051 people were arrested for drinking and driving in the past week.
"We will show no mercy. If we catch you drinking and driving, you will be arrested and if convicted, have a criminal record for life," Letsoalo.
Due to the high number of deaths on the country's roads this festive season, the RTMC was working with municipal and provincial authorities to clamp down on traffic offenders in the remaining days of 2010.
Roadblocks, roadside checkpoints, roving patrols, ghost squad patrols and patrol vehicles equipped with moving violation recorders and automatic number plate recognition devices would be used to police traffic offenders.
"Motorists travelling in severely unroadworthy vehicles will, over and above a fine, also have the licence disc removed and the vehicle discontinued.
"The same will apply to speedsters who deliberately remove registration plates, display fraudulent plates, obscure plates or use hairspray or laser jammers in order to defeat speed cameras," the RTMC said.
The RTMC urged road users to comply with traffic rules and to make a concerted resolution to be better road users.