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Holiday death toll soars past 900

2011-12-28 09:04

DEATH TOLL: Holiday season 2011 sees over 900 people die on South Africa's roads with a call for a ten year licence confiscation for third time offenders.

More than 900 people have been killed on South Africa's roads during December 2011, according to the Road Traffic Management Corporation.

The RTMC says the figure is shocking and even more alarming is the number of head-on collisions.

A spokesman said: "13 of 16 major fatal crashes since December 1 were head-on. These are the most devastating because the chances of survival are so low."

On December 26, 19 people were killed in a head-on between a taxi and a car in the Free State.


Transport minster Sibusiso Ndebele called for the confiscation of driving licences.

Ndebele said: "In conjunction with the police and courts, as well as the National Prosecuting Authority, we will continue to ensure that we are more aggressive in dealing with irresponsible drivers.

"Those arrested for any offence must have their driving licences seized as well as suspended and/or cancelled."

A spokesman said the National Road Traffic Act placed a duty on courts "to suspend or disqualify a driving licence for a person found guilty of drinking and driving, reckless or negligent driving".

People found to be driving over the speed limit by 30km/h in urban areas and 40km/h outside urban areas also risked losing their driving licence.

A first offence would result in a confiscation for six months, a second for five years and a third or subsequent offence would merit a 10-year ban.

The RTMC said a full set of preliminary figures of road deaths would be issued on December 28 2011. (Let's hope an accurate breakdown of figures is supplied: how and in what were people injured or killed: taxis, buses, private cars, motorcycles?)

1149 people were killed on South African roads between December 1 and 28 in 2010 and 1304 over the same period in 2009 (though these figures have been disputed in some quarters).

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