While statistics on fatalities on the country’s roads during the 2018/19 Festive Season are only expected to be released by the National Department of Transport in Durban today (Thursday), it seems as if Limpopo might have done better this year in their efforts to reduce fatal accidents.
With more than 1 200 traffic officers deployed across the province maintaining a zero tolerance attitude, motorists disobeying the rules of the road had little chance of getting away with their actions.
Department of Transport and Community Safety Spokesperson Matome Moremi-Taueatsoala indicated that no statistics are available on provincial level and that all media houses have to wait until today (Thursday) for the statistics to be released nationally.
During the Festive Season, Moremi-Taueatsoala regularly provided information on accidents, arrests, road conditions and the general successes of the campaign.
Limpopo experienced high traffic volumes and at Kranskop Toll Plaza up to 1 540 vehicles per hour were recorded travelling from Gauteng to Limpopo on 14 December. Traffic drastically increased to 1 885 vehicles per hour the day after.
At the end of the holidays traffic volumes increased again to as high as 2 333 vehicles per hour moving through the Pumulani Toll Plaza on 6 January.
Reports received on fatal accidents on Limpopo roads include a head-on collision between a Toyota Fortuner and a minibus close to Mantsole weighbridge that claimed three lives on 16 December. Transport and Community Safety MEC, Makome Makhurupetje also visited the scene.
The driver of the minibus as well as two children were among the deceased.
On 22 December two fatal accidents were reported on the R521 to Mogwadi and the N1 South at Mookgophong but no further details were available.
Three people, apparently a father and two of his children, died in an accident between a combi and a truck on the N1 on 4 January. Speeding was allegedly the cause of the accident when the driver of the reportedly lost control and moved in front of oncoming traffic, according to Moremi-Taueatsoala.
Several drivers were arrested for speeding, overloading and drunken driving.
Sixteen out of 50 drivers who were tested for alcohol in Ladanna, Polokwane were arrested for drunken driving on 16 December. Moremi-Taueatsoala’s concern was a driver as young as 22 being arrested during the operation.
Another 14 were arrested at the Mokopane weighbridge for driving under the influence of alcohol while 26 were charged for overloading on 17 December. Two taxi drivers were arrested along the N1 for reckless driving the same day.
Speedsters were also not let off the hook with two arrests also on the same day on the N1.
One were caught at 172 km/h in a 120 km/h zone while another was driving 160 km/h in a 100 km/h zone. A third driver from Zimbabwe was arrested for fraud after producing a driver’s license not belonging to him.
One of the highlights on overloading was when traffic officers pulled a 22 seater minibus off the road and found that it is carrying 44 passengers of which seven are children. The driver also did not have a public transport permit, according to Moremi-Taueatsoala.
Story: RC Myburgh