Reckless drivers 'can face murder charges'
Johannesburg - People who are negligent and cause accidents that take lives should and can be charged with murder, the national department of transport said on Saturday.
"We just want to warn road drivers against speeding and drinking and driving... it's time to ensure that authorities adopt a zero tolerance approach," said spokesperson Tiyani Rikhotso
"We do have [a] precedent that people can be charged and successfully convicted with murder if negligence can be proved," he said.
Rikhotso said five people were killed on the R153 in Cullinan, east of Pretoria, earlier in the day.
"One driver in that incident had been charged with drunken driving and culpable homicide."
The eThekweni municipality reported that between Thursday and Friday, their officials had arrested 142 drunken drivers in Durban, Rikhotso said.
Meanwhile, the provincial department of public safety said two pedestrians and a driver were killed in the North West since the beginning of the weekend.
The Road Traffic Management Corporation reported that all the major arterial routes in the country had experienced peak traffic volumes which slowed into Saturday.
Spokesperson Ashref Ismail said their biggest worry now was speeding motorists.
"The N1 direction north to Polokwane and the N4 direction east from Pretoria to Nelspruit and the N3 direction south to Durban are all recording lower traffic volumes," said Ismail.
"At this point the biggest concern is people speeding because the traffic volumes are lower and they trying to exploit the situation," he said.
The biggest concern in metropolitan areas was drinking and driving.
"So we will be focusing on that for the next 48 hours."
Ismail said traffic officials in Gauteng had impounded 410 vehicles and arrested 30 people for excessive speeding - the highest being 245km/hour in a 120km/hour zone.
In the Free State 120 vehicles were impounded.