Nearly 50 killed on KZN roads since start of Easter weekend
Forty-seven people were killed in crashes on KwaZulu-Natal roads since the start of the Easter weekend.
As thousands of holidaymakers left the province on Monday, transport, community safety and liaison MEC Peggy Nkonyeni revealed at a roadblock at the Mariannhill Toll Plaza, that there had been 37 fatal road crashes since Thursday.
“Preliminary road accident reports reveal that 37 crashes resulting in 47 fatalities have been recorded in various parts of the province from April 1 to 4 2021, compared to five crashes resulting in six fatalities recorded in the same period in 2020 when the country was under level 5 Covid-19 nationwide lockdown. During the same period in 2019, a total of 31 crashes resulting in 40 fatalities were recorded in KwaZulu-Natal,” she said.
Nkonyeni said evidence showed that most road crashes were as a result of “human behaviour such as speeding, overloading and driving under the influence of alcohol”.
The motorist with the highest alcohol content, 2.68 mg/l, which is 11 times over the legal alcohol limit, was arrested in Scottburgh.
The highest speed recorded was on the N2 near Mtunzini in the Empangeni Region, where a motorist was caught driving at 170km/h in a 120 kilometre zone.
“Road fatalities are a major concern to the provincial government; however, it takes each individual to play their part in curbing the high rate of accidents that occur each year. No matter how many law enforcement officers we deploy, we can never be able to police every aspect of motorists’ behaviour, so this calls for us to individually take responsibility for our actions when we get behind the wheel.”
“We wish to express our deepest condolences to the families of the people who lost their lives in these horrific accidents over the past three days. We also wish those fighting for their lives in hospital a speedy recovery,” said Nkonyeni.
By noon on Monday more than 2,000 cars per hour passed through the Mariannhill Toll Plaza on the way out of the province.
Law enforcement officers were out in full force during the Easter period as part of Operation Vala Easter Safety Plan.
At least 14,739 vehicles were stopped at multidisciplinary roadblocks and other operations throughout the province.
“This resulted in 1,345 written charges being issued, a total of 111 motorists were arrested for drunken driving, 324 motorists were charged for speeding, while 111 vehicles were suspended, and 48 vehicles impounded. A total of 356 motorists were charged for various offences that include driving without a driving licence, driving an unlicensed vehicle, inconsiderate driving and failure to wear a seat belt while driving.”
Nkonyeni also appealed to pedestrians to avoid jaywalking on freeways.
“Integrated roadblocks will continue throughout the province targeting all degrees of crime including unroadworthy vehicles, overloading, distractive driving, drinking and driving and illegal drugs, among other violations,” she said.