157 killed on SA roads during easter weekend

By Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria – The death toll on the country’s roads during the Easter long weekend has declined by almost half, preliminary reports have shown.

“Our preliminary accident report shows that 157 were killed on our roads during the Easter weekend,” Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) spokesperson, Ashref Ismail, told BuaNews.

Last year, close to 300 people were killed during the same period.

Ismail attributed the decline in accidents during the Easter weekend to the new National Rolling Enforcement Plan (NREP), which is aimed at stopping and checking at least one million vehicles every month across the country.

However, he said the few fatal accidents that occurred were caused by speeding, unnecessary and dangerous overtaking, drinking and driving as well as drinking and walking.

As a result, Ismail said a total of 400 motorists were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, adding that they were concerned about overloading and un-roadworthy vehicles.

He said as another long weekend was coming up – on Freedom Day on 27 April – there would be continued police visibility and road blocks aimed at checking driver fitness and vehicle’s roadworthiness.

“We want to appeal to our motorists to work with us in uprooting bad driving on our roads. During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, our motorists demonstrated good behaviour on the roads and we believe that should reconsider doing that all the time, we can save more lives on our roads,” he said. – BuaNews