MEC concerned over high road fatalities in the province

Many died in car fatalities during the festive season.

HIGHVELD – Excessive speeding, reckless driving, unroadworthy vehicles, dangerous overtaking and general disregard for traffic rules are to blame for the increase in the number of fatalities and crashes that have been recorded on provincial roads.

These are the sentiments of Mpumalanga Community Safety, Security and Liaison MEC, Mr Pat Ngomane, who was reacting to the preliminary report on road crashes recorded from 1 December last year to 2 January.

According to the report, the province recorded 619 crashes as opposed to last year’s 693 and this represents a decline of over 10 per cent.

There was a rise of nearly nine per cent in the number of people who had died as a result of road crashes for the period under review because 113 people lost their lives as compared to last year’s 103.

The report further indicated that serious injuries decreased from 593 to 502 and this represents a 15 per cent decrease.

The MEC said although the figures are preliminary, they are drawing a bleak picture.

“One life lost is one too many and reckless drivers need to be stopped in their tracks in order to make roads safer.

“Recklessness by stubborn drivers subjects many families to unnecessary hardships as some of the people who die in these crashes are bread winners.”

Mr Ngomane applauded law enforcers for the work that they have done so far, saying if it was not for them, the situation could have been worse.

He applauded them for bringing to book a number of offenders during various operations between 1 and 31 December across the province.

Over 246 736 vehicles were stopped and more than 1 227 vehicles were being discontinued, while 802 vehicles were impounded.

Altogether 489 drivers were nabbed for driving while they were drunk and over 3 376 more people were fined for driving vehicles fitted with worn tyres, among others.

Mr Ngomane has reiterated his call to motorist to obey traffic rules.

He has also called on community members to report those who are violating traffic rules to authorities so that appropriate steps are taken.

He has further ordered law enforcement officers to continue with their zero tolerance approach towards reckless and negligent driving in order to curb unnecessary loss of lives on roads.

Sifiso Mathebula

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