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08 September 2011

Many SA road deaths cause concern


Image: Arrive Alive - ER24 (Click on image for larger view.)

NATIONAL NEWS - Mid-August to the beginning of September has been a devastating time on the roads of South-Africa.
The ER24 control centre in Johannesburg received more than 1400 call outs to motor vehicle collisions between 15 August and 1 September, across the country.

The fact that astonished rescue workers the most in this time is the severity of the collisions, with multiple mass casualties.
On 24 August the Southern Cape experienced one of its worst road disasters, when a school bus plummeted into a river near Knysna. Fourteen children including the driver of the bus died in the incident.

On 26 August four people died in Bloemfontein when a minibus taxi collided head on with a truck. Eight occupants were injured in the collision.

Paramedics in Bloemfontein experienced another severe collision two days later on 28 August, when a bakkie collided with a truck before overturning. Both occupants, a mother and her son, were ejected from the vehicle. The vehicle caught fire whilst lying on its side next to the road. The mother did not survive the collision.

On the same day ER24 control centre received call outs to 20 motor vehicle collisions between 17:00 the Friday afternoon and 08:00 the Saturday morning, in the greater Johannesburg area.

One serious collision occurred in Vanderbijl Park when a German luxury vehicle collided with a tree at high speed. Paramedics at the scene were astonished at the amount of damage the vehicle sustained. Both occupants sustained severe injuries in the collision and were rapidly transported to a nearby hospital where they both were admitted in a critical condition.

Last week, on 30 August, another serious bus collision occurred at the Murrayhill Bridge near Pietermaritzburg. The full bus allegedly lost control before colliding with the cement pillars under the bridge and overturned. Five people died at the scene and 30 more sustained injuries. The bus is believed to have been on its way to Zimbabwe.

Last week Thursday, two separate incidents on opposite sides of the country occurred within minutes of each other. The first collision occurred shortly after 06:00 near the N2 Highway in Cape Town when a taxi overturned. Seventeen occupants sustained various injuries. At 07:00 a bakkie overturned in Kyalami, Johannesburg in which 19 landscaping workers were injured.

Needless to say paramedics and rescue workers had their hands full during the past two weeks. ER24 would like to commend them for their hard work. The question that remains is who is responsible for the carnage on the roads of our beautiful country every day?

The answer is every licence bearing driver in the country.
As road users we have a moral obligation to not only ensure our own safety when commuting, but also that of people around us.

ER24 would like to advise all South-Africans to buckle up, maintain a safe following distance and be vigilant to their surroundings whilst driving.

(Issued by Andre Visser, ER24)

- George Herald