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By Marizka Coetzer

Journalist


Sudden increase in road accidents blamed on load shedding

The government needed to address this as a matter of urgency.


The sudden increase in truck and motor vehicle accidents is causing concern, following the death of motorists in a horror crash in Krugersdorp last week. Motor Industry Staff Association (Misa) spokesperson Sonja Carstens said it was concerned about the increase in the number of accidents on SA roads due to load shedding recently. “The sad reality is the increased digestion [sic] on our roads due to load shedding and the inability of Prasa [Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa] to provide passenger rail and the inability of Transnet to transport goods commodities via rail,” she said. The government needed to…

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The sudden increase in truck and motor vehicle accidents is causing concern, following the death of motorists in a horror crash in Krugersdorp last week.

Motor Industry Staff Association (Misa) spokesperson Sonja Carstens said it was concerned about the increase in the number of accidents on SA roads due to load shedding recently.

“The sad reality is the increased digestion [sic] on our roads due to load shedding and the inability of Prasa [Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa] to provide passenger rail and the inability of Transnet to transport goods commodities via rail,” she said.

The government needed to address this as a matter of urgency.

“We don’t have the money to build new roads but we can have our trains back on track,” she said.

Tyre bursts also contribute to truck accidents

Road Traffic Management Corporation spokesperson Simon Zwane said in the past five years, the fatalities on the road had decreased.

“From 2017 to 2021 road fatalities have come down from 14 050 to 12 545,” he said.

Zwane said inconsiderate driving and recklessness were the main reasons for accidents.

“Investigations have revealed that brake failures and tyre bursts also contribute to truck crashes,” he added.

The Automobile Association of South Africa spokesperson Layton Beard said there were many reasons for the fatalities on the road.

“One of the reasons is driver behaviour, but we also have bad roads, with potholes and street lights that don’t work,” he said “Road fatalities can be prevented but the bottom line is we need better law enforcement.”

Suzanne Pestana’s fiance Nevin Jacobs was one of those killed in an accident on the N14 at the Pinehaven intersection last Friday morning.

“We always leave for work just before 6am, then he picks up a colleague on his way to work. At around 6.15am, I had a funny feeling. I tried to phone him but he didn’t answer,” she said.

Pestana said when she arrived at work, Jacobs still did not pick up, so she phoned his employer to find out if he made it to work. She heard about the accident and rushed to the scene.

ALSO READ: One dead, child critically injured as truck and three cars involved in accident

“On the way to the accidentscene, I kept phoning my fiance, but still no answer. His boss then phoned and told me to go straight home. I knew. The moment he didn’t answer his phone and when I saw the photos on social media, I knew,” she said.

They were saving up to get married next September.

“We wanted to do a Steampunk-themed wedding next year but now I come home to an empty house, it’s horrible,” she said.

Pestana said his phone, ring and chain were missing.

“I didn’t get to greet him properly before we left because we were late. I keep wondering, what if we left five minutes earlier? Maybe his death could have been prevented,” she said.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Horror truck crash in Krugersdorp leaves two dead, three injured

Pestana said Jacobs had helped her pick out her outfit on the day of the accident.

“It was load shedding and he held out a lamp and said he would be the light of my life,” she said.

When she asked him what their plans were for the weekend, “he said nothing, it’s going to be a long weekend. It was the longest weekend of my life without him.”


Info

  • A study released in January by the Road Traffic Management Corporation found that light motor vehicles were responsible for the bulk of fatal crashes in South Africa, at 53.8%.
  • Specific models, like Volkswagen Polo, followed closely by Toyota Hilux and Toyota Quantum, ranked at the top.

– marizkac@citizen.co.za

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