It was a dark long weekend on Western Cape roads as a preliminary report from Western Cape Provincial Traffic Services indicates that 19 road users lost their lives. Among these was a horrific crash near De Doorns which claimed the lives of 13 people who were apparently on their way to visit loved ones over Christmas. Two child pedestrians, the first only one year old and other five, tragically lost their lives after being hit by motor vehicles on the West Coast.
Provincial traffic officers arrested 16 motorists for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol on 23 and 24 December 2016. Seven were arrested in the Mossel Bay service area; three in George; two in Worcester; two in Brackenfell; one in Beaufort West; and one in Swellendam.
Breath testing was performed on 1 365 drivers at 20 alcohol blitz roadblocks across the province. The highest breath alcohol reading was recorded in the Mossel Bay service area. At 1,24 mg of alcohol/ 1 000 ml of breath, this is over five times over the legal limit of 0,24 mg/ 1 000 ml.
Three other persons were arrested: one for excessive speed in Laingsburg (175 km/h in a 120 km/h zone); one for excessive speed in Beaufort West (164 km/h in a 120 km/h zone); and one for false documentation in Brackenfell.
A total of 3 391 vehicles were screened for speeding and 356 speeding offences were recorded. Fines in the amount of R340 750 were issued for a variety of reasons, ranging from driver offences to vehicle fitness violations.
The highest speeds recorded were 175 km/h in a 120 km/h zone in the Beaufort West service area; 131 km/h in a 100 km/h zone in the Vredendal service area; and 108 km in an 80 km/h zone in the Somerset West service area.
Details of road fatalities
|Date||Location of crash||Fatalities|
|Friday, 23 December 2016||Beaufort West||1 driver|
|Friday, 23 December 2016||Vredendal||1 child pedestrian|
|Friday, 23 December 2016||Lutzville||1 passenger|
|Friday, 23 December 2016||N1 Leeu Gamka||1 passenger|
1 child passenger
|Saturday, 24 December 2016||N1 De Doorns||1 driver|
|Tuesday, 27 December 2016||Lamberts Bay||1 child pedestrian|
The Department of Transport and Public Works is doing everything in its power to create safer, booze-free roads during the festive season and beyond. We play our part by conducting ongoing road safety awareness and education initiatives, traffic law enforcement operations such as roadblocks with key road safety agencies and en route inspections, as well as road traffic engineering to ensure that signs are visible, camera equipment is functional, and roads are of a high quality.
What is generally a time filled with happiness and celebration has now become a time of danger for road users. We urge drivers to be extra careful. All road users are responsible for road safety. Good driving and pedestrian habits are essential. We can help to prevent the unnecessary loss of lives on our roads if we all work together and show consideration and respect for our fellow road users.
Our condolences go out to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives.
Join Safely Home on Twitter @WCGovSafelyHome under the hashtag #BoozeFreeRoads