Roads still busy as people return after Easter break

2015-04-06 21:42

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Johannesburg - The country's roads continued to remain busy as South Africans travelled home after squeezing the last moments from their Easter weekend.

Simon Zwane, spokesperson for the Road Traffic Management Agency (RTMA), said early on Monday evening that traffic had picked up at major toll plazas.

"It's picked up on the Tugela toll plaza on the border on of KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State, at 2 400 vehicles an hour passing through. Those getting into Gauteng at the Wilge plaza, at around 1 900 car an hour," he said.

"An accident near the Wilge plaza did cause a delay but it has been cleared, and we hope the traffic clears in time so people can reach their destinations... but we still have people who were held up."

He said people around Wilge plaza "unfortunately" got impatient, and were speeding and driving recklessly.

"We ask motorists to please exercise patience and take a break at a nearby petrol station... on the way home so they can reach their destination safely. Many accidents happen when closer to home and in residential areas," Zwane said.

"We think that more people can play a role in reducing carnage on our roads, through obeying the rules of the road."

Earlier, on Monday afternoon, Netcare 911 said that three people died and two others were injured in a multi-car pile-up on the N3 near the Wilge toll plaza close to Villiers in the Free State, causing major delays.

"Netcare 911 paramedics and other services arrived at the scene and found the crumpled remains of four vehicles," said Netcare 911 spokesperson Santi Steinmann said.

"Reports from the scene indicate that two vehicles collided head-on and then another two vehicles crashed into the primary accident vehicles. One vehicle overturned and came to a standstill on its roof."

Following assessment by paramedics, it was found that two men and a woman died during the accident, while one person sustained critical injuries and another moderate injuries. 

Both of the injured were treated on the scene and then taken to hospital for further treatment.

"Exact detail surrounding the cause of the accident and preceding events are still unclear and will remain the subject of a police investigation," Steinmann said.

Elsewhere around the country on Monday, two people died and 12 others were injured when a taxi overturned along Richmond Road in the Umkomaas Valley in KwaZulu-Natal.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said a report from the scene indicated that the taxi veered off the road and rolled down a steep embankment. 

"Netcare 911 paramedics and several other services arrived at the scene and after triaging found that two people tragically died before our arrival due to the extensive injuries that they sustained, twelve others sustained injuries ranging from serious to minor," he said.

"Paramedics treated the injured at the scene before transporting them to various hospitals for the care that they required."

The cause of the accident was unknown. Police were investigating. 

Sunday saw several road deaths, including one person being killed on the R515 in Cullinan, a person dying in an accident on Higginson Highway in Chatsworth, Durban, and two people being killed along Great North Road in Benoni when two cars were involved in a side-on impact. 

Read more on:    accidents

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