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27 December 2011

SAWDIS Holiday Alert 2011/2012

Road slaughter toll surpasses 900

Over 900 people have died on South African roads since the beginning of December, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RMTC) announced on Tuesday.

“The figures are going over the 900 mark and we are extremely concerned about head-on crashes. Out of the 16 major fatal crashes we have had since December 1st, 13 of them were head-on. These are the most devastating because the chances of survival are so low,” said RTMC spokesman Ashref Ismail.

On Monday, a head-on collision between a taxi and car in the Free State claimed the lives of nineteen people.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Transport Minster Sibusiso Ndebele called on traffic officers to confiscate the driver's license of those arrested for road traffic violations.

“Drivers arrested for any offence must have their driving licences seized as well as suspended and/or cancelled,” he said in a statement.

Ndebele said that his department, along with the justice and police ministries, would be “more aggressive” when dealing with irresponsible drivers.

Ismail said a full set of preliminary figures on road deaths would be issued on Wednesday.

A total of 1149 people were killed on South Africa's roads between December 1 and December 28 in 2010 and 1304 deaths were recorded for the same period in 2009.


Seatbelts save lives - RTMC

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has urged all motorists to help increase the rate of seatbelt wear to decrease the number of road accidents.

The corporation announced the festive season road death toll has reached the 800 mark.

Around 200 accidents were reported over the Christmas weekend alone.

RTMC spokesperson Ashref Ismail said a lot of South Africans still do not buckle up when driving.

“Independent academic research has indicated if people increased their seatbelt wearing-rate by 80percent, there would be a 30percent road fatality reduction,” he said.


Authorities vigilant at beaches

Cape Town metro police on Monday said they would maintain a strong presence at beaches to deter criminals and those wanting to bring alcohol onto beaches.

Not many fines were issued on the Day of Goodwill and officers were hoping it was a sign beachgoers were going to behave themselves this week.

Metro police spokesperson Nowellyn Petersen said, “We had no major incidents in our beaches. It seems everybody is adhering to the alcohol by-laws.”


Dad drowns after saving kids

A Bellville family are mourning after the 45-year-old father drowned near Camps Bay Beach on Monday while trying to save his two children.

His children were overcome by a wave when Anwar Hoosain went to their rescue.

Lifeguards brought all three to shore.

The children were unharmed but they could not revive their father.

The City of Cape Town’s Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said they provided counsellors for the family.

“The family and the next of kin that were on the beach have been provided with trauma counselling,” he said.