'Brutal, bloody night' on WC roads

2011-12-22 11:48

The MEC for Transport in the Western Cape, Robin Carlisle, described December 20, 2011 as a "brutal, bloody night" on the province's roads.

In just 24 hours, 12 people were killed in various accidents across the Western Cape.

Early on Tuesday morning near Leeu Gamka, two vehicles were involved in a head-on collision killing two people.

An hour later, between Dwyka Bridge and Prince Albert Road a minibus taxi believed to have been on the wrong side of the road was involved in a head-on collision with a vehicle. A baby in the taxi, and four people in the car were killed. The remaining 17 occupants in the taxi were seriously injured. 

Later that day a taxi overturned on the R27 near Cape Town, killing three passengers.

About half an hour later a pedestrian was killed by a taxi driver on the N1 near De Doorns.


Carlisle said, "As the night proceeded, so the list of mostly innocent victims steadily rose." 
Around midnight a pedestrian was killed by the driver of a light motor vehicle in Durbanville, Cape Town.

Carlisle said, "There is only so much the authorities can do. Individuals must begin to take responsibility for their own lives as well as the lives of other motorists and pedestrians on the roads.
"The blood-letting will continue until motorists start to slow down, buckle up, stop drinking and driving, leave their cellphones alone and watch out for pedestrians."
He added, "Public transport users must begin to value their own lives and the lives of their fellow passengers by reporting dangerous drivers and vehicles to the authorities.

"Meanwhile, pedestrians are urged not to walk anywhere on busy roads, to cross only at safe crossing points and to stay away from freeways."

  • Sean - 2011-12-22 12:34

    amazing how the word TAXI comes up SO often in these reports! hmmmmm i wonder of the MEC for transport will actually do anything about that?? They should have to ANNUALLY renew their permits which should include a driving test and the vehicles fitted with GPS tracking units which monitor speed and braking etc!!!!! Should NOT be an option!

  • kevin.grinaker - 2011-12-22 19:04

    I'm driving down the freeway at 80km/h and a pedestrian walks out from behind a bush, (because I'm in the Right Hand lane, slowing down all the "speedsters", who want to travel at the "ridiculously" over fast speed limit of 120km/h [t.i.c.]) and I hit the jaywalker. Is that person going to survive? I don't think so. Carlisle, catch a wake up and stop blaming speed for every death on the road. Stupidity kills, not speed. ffs. Start policing that. Don't concentrate on SPEED!so much. ffs

      Rodney - 2011-12-23 08:53

      Speed reduces your reaction time!!! Lets not be idiotic and forget that you should know better! !!

      kevin.grinaker - 2011-12-23 13:47

      Actually, Rodney, speed does not reduce your reaction time, as you state, it actually increases your reaction distance. However, if a person is travelling at a reduced speed, their sense of awareness can also be reduced, and therefore, the reaction time is slower in those cases. May I suggest that you watch some of the footage of the accident videos supplied by the Western Province traffic department. In only one of those videos is an idiot travelling at a ridiculous speed. In all the others it is pure stupidity that causes the accidents. The pedestrian that crosses a busy freeway with a bridge just 100 metres away. The driver of the vehicle that hits the jaywalker is travelling at a normal freeway speed and does not even react. What was the driver of the vehicle doing that it (he/she) could not see the pedestrian crossing the freeway well ahead? In the one where the Jeep type vehicle rolls over, the complete imbecile driving the VW Caddy is so far up the Nissan bakkie's tail pipe that when the bakkie slows for the traffic ahead, the Caddy driver loses control of his vehicle (due to over reaction) and slams into the side of the "jeep". The result of this imbecilic STUPIDITY is that both vehicles roll over and the "jeep" driver is ejected from his vehicle. Absolutely no excessive SPEED involved there. Just simple plain stupidity. Travelling at 30km/h passed school children entering or leaving school (and anything similar) is plain stupidity, not speed.

      Zion - 2011-12-27 07:46

      Rodney, I agree with you wholeheartedly. If a vehicle is travelling at say 160km/h it is moving at the rate of 44m/sec. At 200km/h the distance is 55.55 M/sec. Blink twice then a second has passed and the car has moved uncontrolled for 55.55metres or 44metres. If the initial conditions are that the car was off-line with the road then it will probably be on the verge after a second. The argument that speed does not kill is more related to macho reasons than reality. How long does it take to look down onto the passenger seat to check if the lunch tin has been taken? Only a second? If we are all cruising happily at 140km/h it must be remembered that the approaching vehicles are doing the same and our reaction times are now halved.

      kevin.grinaker - 2011-12-27 11:52

      Zion. If I drop a stick from a predetermined height above your hand and you have to catch it, the time it takes for you to react once I have dropped it is called reaction time. Correct? All the other distractions that you refer to can happen at any speed travelled. Correct?. So reaction time is defined as the time it takes to react. Correct? If your normal reaction time is (say) 0.5 seconds, then it is always going to be that figure once you realise that you have to react. Correct? At 60 km/h you will be travelling at 16.67m/s. You will have travelled 8.335 metres before you react. Correct? Now you are travelling at 120 km/h or 33.33m/s. Correct? You will have travelled 16.67 metres before reacting. Correct? Please tell me what has increased, your reaction TIME or your reaction DISTANCE? The rest of your distraction causes that you mention will be more likely to occur, in a normal human being, while travelling at 60km/h rather than at 160km/h, unless one is a complete idiot. Stupidity again? Another 14 people are dead in the Frankfort accident, not because of speed, so to say, but because of impatience and blatant stupidity on behalf of the driver of the Mercedes Benz, who overtook a vehicle crossing the barrier line in the process. The taxi driver had to react in that case and not the driver of the Benz.

      James - 2011-12-27 16:29

      The Autobahnen legal 342K in a Ruf Porsche is safer than RTE 95 South here in the US. Limit 65 mph.

  • kseyffert - 2011-12-26 10:09

    hmmm, maybe just a little more proactive enforcement will help too. Police fficers driving 10km above the limit with a radio in one hand and a cell phone in the other is NOT a good example!!!! Traffic officers driving past padestrians on the freeway is NOT acceptable. Traffic officers driving next to obviously overloaded minibus taxi is NOT acceptable. Come on guys, pull these violators off and ticket them on the spot. If we see you doing this then and only then will we believe you are serious and then we will start reporting violators. until then, it will not happen because by your very behaviour you are telling us that you are not interested and nothing will be done so why in the world will we go to the expense of reporting it?????

  • Zion - 2011-12-27 07:25

    What stands out like a sore thumb is the number of accidents and related deaths on the mentioned stretch of road. This particular stretch has been killing dozens of people every year yet the self-edifying authorities are only talking and never doing. Drivers can drive safer, Granted, but can only do so much when the road itself is in tatters. No matter how loud the shouting is that wake-up call is never heard by the authorities.

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