Road deaths: Head-on crashes biggest worry

2011-12-27 22:11
Johannesburg - More than 900 people have been killed on South Africa's roads this month, according to Road Traffic Management Corporation (RMTC) spokesperson Ashref Ismail.

"We are extremely concerned about head-on crashes," he said.

"Out of the 16 major fatal crashes since December 1, 13 were head-ons.

"These are the most devastating because the [victims'] chances of survival are so low."

On Monday, 19 people were killed in a head-on collision between a taxi and car in the northern Free State.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Transport Minster Sibusiso Ndebele called for the courts to be quicker to confiscate and suspend the driver's licences of motorists found guilty of road traffic violations.

"In conjunction with the ministries of police and justice, as well as the national prosecuting authority, we will continue to ensure that we are more aggressive in dealing with irresponsible drivers," Ndebele said in a statement.

"Drivers arrested for any offence must have their driving licences seized as well as suspended and/or cancelled."

His spokesperson Logan Maistry said the National Road Traffic Act placed a duty in courts to "suspend or disqualify a driving license for a person found guilty of drinking and driving, reckless and negligent driving".

People found to be driving over the speed limit by 30km in urban areas and 40km an hour outside urban areas, also risked having their licenses suspended or disqualified.

A first offence would result in a confiscation for six months, a second for five years and a third or subsequent offence would merit a 10 year cancellation or suspension of a licence, he said.

Ismail said a full set of preliminary figures of road deaths would be issued on Wednesday.

A total of 1 149 people were killed on South Africa's roads between December 1 and December 28 in 2010 and 1 304 deaths were recorded for the same period in 2009.

- SAPA
Read more on:    sibusiso ndebele  |  accidents
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