Concern over high rate of head-on crashes

2012-12-23 18:25

Johannesburg - Twenty six people were killed and 44 injured in road accidents across the country over the weekend, according to reports by various officials.

The most deadly accident reported on Sunday took place on the N9 between Aberdeen and Willowmore in the Eastern Cape.

Eastern Cape traffic spokesperson Tshepo Machaea said five people were killed and seven injured.

"A minibus taxi overturned killing five people and injuring seven."

He said the taxi had a burst tyre, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle which then overturned.

A number of pedestrians were killed or injured in accidents on Sunday.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Santi Steinmann said a pedestrian was killed in Riverlea, Johannesburg, on Saturday night after being hit by a vehicle.

North West police said a 34-year-old man died after he was allegedly hit by two motor vehicles on the Magogong road in Taung.

ER24 spokesperson Vanessa Jackson said, in KwaZulu-Natal, a 25-year-old woman suffered severe injuries when a car hit her on the N2 in Winkelspruit.

The woman had apparently dropped her bag while crossing the road and was hit by a Mercedes Benz when she walked back to fetch it.

Among those injured in other accidents, Steinmann said two adults and four children were hurt after their car overturned just outside Klerksdorp towards Wolmaranstad on Sunday morning.

Jackson said a Cape Town man was injured after he collided with a police patrol van and then crashed into a perimeter wall of a house in Wynberg.

In another incident, a motorcyclist in Zonneblom in Cape Town was injured after he crashed his motorcycle, she added.

On Saturday, nineteen people, including a 1-year-old, were killed in accidents reported to Sapa.

Meanwhile on Sunday, border posts, including Beitbridge - entering Zimbabwe - and Lebombo - entering Mozambique - had cars backed up for kilometres.

A Zimbabwean man died from natural causes at the Beitbridge border post, after he got off a bus to go to the bathroom.

Overall, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said traffic volume on freeways had decreased by early Sunday.

RTMC spokesperson Ashref Ismail said it was concerning that so many of this weekend's accidents were head-on-collisions.

"Even in the most modern vehicle, the chances of surviving a head-on crash at speeds above 70 km/h are greatly reduced," said Ismail.

"The most common types of injuries related to a head on collision include spinal injuries, brain injuries, catastrophic injuries, broken bones, and even paralysis."

On Saturday, Ismail reported that 765 people have been killed on SA roads so far this month.

He said this high figure suggested it would be unlikely that the RTMC would be able to reach its target in reducing road fatalities.

The RTMC hoped to ensure that there were 25% less deaths this year, compared to the 1 771 people who died as a result of road accidents between December 1 2011 to January 10 2012.

  • precious.yumyum - 2012-12-23 18:32

    until such time that people's attitudes on the road change, and drivers start respecting the value of human life, then we can forget about curbing the rate at which people get killed on the roads.

      alastair.grant.98 - 2012-12-23 18:43

      The intro on the New24 website says "Twenty six people have been killed and 44 injured in road accidents across the country over, the majority of which have been head-on collisions, according to reports." Where, in this report, does it say the majority were head-on collisions?

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-12-23 18:51

      The death rate is most quoted over the major holidays but little or no mention of those who survive but are permanently maimed and/disabled. These people's lives and futures are not only ruined but they and/or their families face years of costs for surgeries and physical care, psychological trauma. The list goes on. I was in such an accident. 32 years and countless surgeries later, I have to have yet another op in Jan. That reckless f-wit has gone on with his life but I'm still paying the price for his selfishness

      aarchaic - 2012-12-23 19:33

      last I check any person walking on a Highway N1 N2 N3 N4 N9 or any N road is illegal! what are they doing there! its Jay walking and is a criminal offence!

      infijar.ken - 2012-12-23 19:37

      jesibelle.krueger - this is nothing to do with driving licenses, it is to do with brute arrogance by drivers in high powered cars who think they own the road. Until this driving style of vehciles moving over to allow fister cars to pass, this problem will not go away. When it happenes on both sides of the road, there is, maybe, enough room for one car to pass. Ignorance dictates that drivers must overtake, then if there is not enough room, one must give way. NOBODY on these roads gives way - NOBODY!!!!! So cars plough into each other head on! I hade about 60 kms of driving on the N1 one, the other day, from Three Sisters to Beaufort West. That was the most terrifying part of my 3000 kms trip (on a motor bike) from the north-east of Namibia, through Botswana and across the NW, N and W provinces.

      jesibelle.krueger - 2012-12-23 20:10

      @infijar.ken. The German Autobahns have many sections that have no speed limits whatsoever. These roads have plenty of VERY 'high powered cars' (as you call them), perhaps more so than anywhere else in the world (per capita that is) and trust me, they are arrogant and obnoxious to the extreme. The German "rural highways" are no different to SA's inter-town highways (eg the section you mentioned) - people overtake each other all the time (cars, trucks, motorcycles - you name it, all overtaking each other) - yet the German accident rate (per capita and absolute) is a fraction of that of South Africa. WHY..?? I will tell you why - it is because of the quality of SA'can drivers. It remains an inconvenient reality and as long as SA refuses to face up to reality, the roads will just become worse (not the opposite) - irrespective how much is spent on campaigns, roadblocks, etc. SA's 'Drivers License system', like so much else in the country, is rotten to the core with politics and corruption. Drivers Licenses are subjected to RACIAL QUOTAS like everything else is - so GO FIGURE..!! Most of SA can barely read and write, so how they conceivably could pass a Drivers License Test remains an overwhelming mystery. Eg any goon can pass the Leaner Drivers Tests - you pay a R100 and you get a copy of the test - WITH THE CORRECT ANSWERS MARKED, so you pass even if you cannot read/write properly..!! Its the consequence of the entitlement of the ANC Affirmative Action - IT KILLS..!

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-12-23 20:15

      It's not about high-powered cars, it's about people who have a deep-seated need to dominate and a culture that sees that attitude as being uRight.

      BulletProof. - 2012-12-23 20:39

      A lot of people bought their licenses from corrupt officers in the last 18 years. That's the answer for, how all this accidents are happening.

      infijar.ken - 2012-12-23 23:41

      jesibelle.krueger - you racist. I can confirm that all the cars that drove me down (and two that under-took me), bar one were driven by people I would now have to describe as "educated"! The other one where I couldn't see the driver was a black SUV, with blacked out windows. That, strangely enough was on normally safe Route 62.

      motlalepula.sompane - 2012-12-24 13:06

      "A Zimbabwean man died from natural causes at the Beitbridge border post, after he got off a bus to go to the bathroom." Masturbation must be conered natural causes i suppose. Perhaps the Zim border toilets are vehicles too? hmm?

  • precious.yumyum - 2012-12-23 18:32

    until such time that people's attitudes on the road change, and drivers start respecting the value of human life, then we can forget about curbing the rate at which people get killed on the roads.

  • squeegee.pilot - 2012-12-23 18:37

    Thirty eight people die on our roads EVERY day of the year. To call it 'carnage' over Christmas shows how oblivious officials are throughout the year.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-12-23 19:07

      There's just less 'news' over the holidays, ergo road fatalities get a higher profile. Come Jan 3, this ongoing carnage will be relegated to the "News In Your Area" section. Unless it disrupts traffic or involves more than 3 people, that is.

  • wizba - 2012-12-23 18:40

    Let us pray before we hit the road people,be patient on the road guy,rather late than early in heaven..God love us all

  • patsy.smith.125 - 2012-12-23 18:42

    How many were taxi related???

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-12-23 18:55

      How many pedestrians? Probably about 40%...

  • sthembiso.jali.50 - 2012-12-23 18:43

    open season for satanists, they are out in full force. arrive alive !

      Ayanda Mahlobo - 2012-12-23 20:46

      its Germany if i m not mistaken,they have a lane on certain roads,its for spots cars,but we don't necesserly have to do that one,but clearly we need to seperate the dilivery vihecles frm the normal ones

  • rodney.scholtz - 2012-12-23 18:47

    and there is real reason for concern if considering 1 in 4 of these crashes were caused by fatigue which could possibly have been avoided had the DOT & RTMC used the Fatique initiative offered by Accicare24 2 years ago already...had they not paid their Top Leaders up to ZAR 6 Million per annum for "important work". I cannot help but wonder what is more important than saving lives when looking @ transport...

  • derek.smith.12177276 - 2012-12-23 18:52

    accidents across the country over, the majority of which have been head??? news24...please make sure that the people writing these articles have at least grade 6 qualifications ...

      andre.vanhuyssteen.31 - 2012-12-23 19:22

      I agree, the writing is pathetic.

  • NickvanderLeek - 2012-12-23 18:54

    some people insist that speed doesn't kill. I'm not sure when last more people died travelling slower.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-12-23 19:02

      As someone who survived a head-on collision with a maniacal, drunk and stoned speedster, I can assure you that I have days where I feel like I am dying slowly.

      andre.vanhuyssteen.31 - 2012-12-23 19:26

      It is those extremely slow cars, that irreatate the drivers that drive on the speed limit, to eventually take a change and pass them, even when there is a wide road left of the yellow line for them just to be considered and move to the left, but... they stay ahead of you. then there are a lot of drivers that does not know the meaning of solid white lines and blind rises. I saw it, just drove from PTA to Plett. I think the accident rate is still low, considering how most people drive, or try to drive.

  • vark.steak - 2012-12-23 19:30

    The N9 is chaotic. The section from Aberdeen, where the Taxi's carrying passengers from Cape Town to the Eastern Cape rural areas, join the N9, to Middelburg - belongs to the road hogs. Up the Lootsberg Pass, the Taxis are driving 2/3 abreast - if there are lanes available or not! As usual, the Eastern Cape Traffic department is nowhere in sight. Between Aberdeen and Graff Reinette today, drivers were forced to leave the road to avoid crashing into an old Bakkie full of people, travelling at 40 km/h on a busy National route, with two wheels either side of the white line. Come on guys, we should get our act together - it is costing us many lives. The RTMC should get out from behind their desks, and monitor the standard of law enforcement before they make useless conclusions of bogus data.

  • mart.botha - 2012-12-23 19:32

    Cognition is the scientific term for "the process of thought." Quite obviously accidents will always happen, but it is the 'dearth of mentally being able to anticipate consequences for actions taken' that is our biggest threat on the road. Spend a day on the roads in South Africa and you will realise that the driver who is doing his own thing. making his own space and time, and behaves as though everything he does is quite fine, is mentally retarded....or to water this down a tad, his brain fails to recognise that he is being reckless and endangering others. A brain surgeon with dilerium tremors will soon be relieved of his scalpel, why not a driver with a cognitive skill disability.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-12-23 19:46

      No he totally recognises that he is being reckless and endangering others but that is secondary to the feeling of supreme power - albeit for a few seconds. People behind steering-wheels imagine they are in the last frontier where they have any control - or freedom. We are a pathological society with a justification for every bad thing we do, acting out our aggression and over-inflated sense of importance, because there are no policemen to reign us in. We are a nation of poor impulse control. Adolescents in adult bodies

  • Hasani P - 2012-12-23 19:32

    i agree people behave like they have created the vehicles they drive. People simply want to prove the car they drive is able to speed up like nobody's business.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-12-23 19:39

      They also believe they are invincible, all-powerful and of course completely in the right. Even in the full knowledge that they are breaking the law, they do it because they really just don't give a damn because they RULE!

  • cujimmy.okpall - 2012-12-23 19:36

    Have all the sub editors gone on holiday and just left office boy to get the paper out. If its as bad as the Sunday Times which was games and old news and a few sport results I won't be getting a paper tomorrow.

  • Sibusiso - 2012-12-23 20:33

    I'm relieved the woman hit by a car in Winklespruit didn't (hasn't )die.I saw her lying on the tarmac.She looked like she was dead.It was such a sad sight.I wish her a speedy and full recovery.People should stop walking on freeways.

      aarchaic - 2012-12-24 00:00

      Still my question is what was she doing there on foot when a 50cc motorbike is not even allowed on the highways... glad she's alive but the police needs to start acting towards Jay walking more seriously!

  • ian.robertreid - 2012-12-23 20:43

    Head on,s? i,m on the road 24/7~ drivers thnk they r Vettle ~arseholes?? metro lock these jerk off,s up?

  • steven.m.armour - 2012-12-23 21:03

    Just out of interest and with not taking the racist view,break down the accidents into race groups and lets see who is the main cause of accidents,especially head ons.We all know the answer to this.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-12-23 21:35

      Well that's just plain silly right off the bat. ZA population is circa 79% Black, 9% White & 9% Coloured, 2.5% Indian and 0.5% 'other'. So it doesn't matter which Statistic one is presented with of course 79% of the culprits will be black. It's just volume, not genetics

  • buti.lembe - 2012-12-23 21:29

    Those people who violent the road act should be given a double punishment from Dec 1st until 31st.

  • Malose-Nyatlo - 2012-12-23 21:43

    The problem is not on the road, but societal. A taxi stops inside a traffic circle in a busy street to pick passengers, the driver of the latest Mercedes cannot stop to chat on her i-phone, but does that as she drives and yes, no-one wants to stop at a red robot. In fact, with all its racial and economic divides, our society share commonalities when it comes to misconduct on the road.

  • thabo.manganye - 2012-12-23 22:02

    From east london to stutterheim its about 78km , drove that route 3 times in 2 days but never saw one single traffic cop and when I asked today to one guy I met at spar( about traffic cop) was told they don't work on weekends and they work from 8 to 12 during the week, zero tolerance my foot.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-12-23 22:29

      Zero-tolerance - within budget

      Antipoaching - 2012-12-23 22:36

      same thing in Grahamstown and when they do work, its just roadblocks to stop cars.. Overloaded taxis, with shifting spanner steering wheels, smooth tyres and doors that dont stay close are ignored

  • Sharon - 2012-12-24 03:49

    The chickens are coming home to roost. This is a result of no accountability and absence of policing and condoning of the breaking of all the rules by those in office. We reap what we sow!!

  • Sharon - 2012-12-24 03:52

    Start by policing the Blue light brigade bullies!!

  • steven.m.armour - 2012-12-24 06:19

    Same old story,different year.

  • delange.marius - 2012-12-24 07:30

    while NOT educating road users about the dangers/risks of speeding AND overtaking on barrier lines, uphills and curves throughout the year, surely you can't expect them 2 behave during the bonus month ending off your year?

  • alananthonygreen - 2012-12-24 09:14

    Almost always a taxi involved

  • henry.prins - 2012-12-24 13:46

    slow truck and no safe place to overtake - people on the way on holiday and get frustrated about the thousand of slow moving trucks on the road. get the trucks off the road and you will see a defnite decrease in head on collisions - and a total reduction in accidents, because then all the traffic will move allong at the same speed

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-12-24 13:52

    Head on collisions are caused by headless drivers and there are far too many of them on the roads.

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