More than 600 lives have been lost in over 600 road accidents in December, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has said. “Major contributing factors to these crashes are dangerous overtaking, driver fatigue, excessive speed and driving under the influence of alcohol,” Peters said yesterday in a statement prepared for delivery at a media briefing in Joburg. The crashes and fatalities happened between December 1 to date, she said. An intergovernmental structure was in place to provide governance and communication on the development of the Moloto Road development corridor. Twenty-nine people died in a bus accident on Moloto Road near Kwaggafontein, Mpumalanga, in November. Scores of others were injured. Peters said a plan was in place to develop the stretch of the road, which included the introduction of rapid rail transportation. The rapid rail was endorsed at a meeting of the committee held on December 18, she said. “Further detailed investigation of the rapid rail option will be conducted with the aim of completing the feasibility study in March 2014,” she said. A project management office would be established within the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) to take the project forward, she said. “At least R1.92 billion will be required for the upgrading of 120km of the Moloto Road, for a 20-year lifespan. Another estimated R2.4 billion will be required for the upgrading of 240km of feeder routes.” The department was looking into various preventative measures to curb road accidents, she said. These included a speed limit for public transport vehicles and forced resting for drivers after a two-hour drive.