KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) authorities say the Easter weekend period has been fatal on provincial roads.
Speaking during a media briefing at the Mariannhill N3 Toll Plaza on Monday, KZN Transport MEC Peggy Nkonyeni revealed that 47 people had been killed from 1 to 4 April, saying this was “quite unfortunate”.
“Most of them are due to drinking and driving. People are driving over the speed limit, which is quite unacceptable.” During the Easter period there was a multidisciplinary campaign conducted by all law enforcement agencies in the province, 111 drivers were arrested for drunk driving during the same period.
Earlier, Durban Metro Police Spokesperson, Senior Superindent Parbhoo Sewpersad said traffic had picked on the main highways in the N3 with about 2,500 to 3000 vehicles passing every hour near the Pietermaritzburg toll plaza.
“Motorists have been compliant but what I can say is that when there were accidents on the freeway, ill-discipline drivers would make a U-turn on a national freeway.” He says this was not necessary as traffic was flowing despite there being a few fatal accidents due to reckless driving.
As with every holiday period, there is an increase of visitors to the province and a mass exodus, Sewpersad says some drivers were not complying as there were still far too many cases of drunk driving.
The superintendent said that motorists need to be more patient on the roads as bad decisions are made during roadblocks or in accidents.
“What we have found in the past that the fatalities on the roads were largely pedestrains.” He explains this occurs when taxis are dropping people on the side of the road or dropping people on the freeway, which is illegal.
What did help authorities this year is the high visibility of officers and joint operations.