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28 December 2011

SAWDIS Holiday Alert 2011/2012

Road deaths: Head-on crashes biggest worry

Johannesburg - More than 900 people have been killed on South Africa's roads this month, according to Road Traffic Management Corporation (RMTC) spokesperson Ashref Ismail.

"We are extremely concerned about head-on crashes," he said.

"Out of the 16 major fatal crashes since December 1, 13 were head-ons.

"These are the most devastating because the [victims'] chances of survival are so low."

On Monday, 19 people were killed in a head-on collision between a taxi and car in the northern Free State.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Transport Minster Sibusiso Ndebele called for the courts to be quicker to confiscate and suspend the driver's licences of motorists found guilty of road traffic violations.

"In conjunction with the ministries of police and justice, as well as the national prosecuting authority, we will continue to ensure that we are more aggressive in dealing with irresponsible drivers," Ndebele said in a statement.

"Drivers arrested for any offence must have their driving licences seized as well as suspended and/or cancelled."

His spokesperson Logan Maistry said the National Road Traffic Act placed a duty in courts to "suspend or disqualify a driving license for a person found guilty of drinking and driving, reckless and negligent driving".

People found to be driving over the speed limit by 30km in urban areas and 40km an hour outside urban areas, also risked having their licenses suspended or disqualified.

A first offence would result in a confiscation for six months, a second for five years and a third or subsequent offence would merit a 10 year cancellation or suspension of a licence, he said.

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

A total of 1 149 people were killed on South Africa's roads between December 1 and December 28 in 2010 and 1 304 deaths were recorded for the same period in 2009.

- SAPA/News24

Errant motorists risk losing licences

Johannesburg - More than 900 people have been killed on South Africa's roads this month, according to Road Traffic Management Corporation (RMTC) spokesperson Ashref Ismail.

“We are extremely concerned about head-on crashes,” he said.

“Out of the 16 major fatal crashes since December 1, 13 were head-ons.

“These are the most devastating because the chances of survival are so low.”

On Monday, 19 people were killed in a head-on collision between a taxi and car in the northern Free State.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele called for the courts to be quicker to confiscate and suspend the driving licences of motorists found guilty of road traffic violations.

“In conjunction with the Ministries of Police and Justice, as well as the National Prosecuting Authority, we will continue to ensure that we are more aggressive in dealing with irresponsible drivers,” Ndebele said in a statement.

“Drivers arrested for any offence must have their driving licences seized as well as suspended and/or cancelled.”

His spokesperson, Logan Maistry, said the National Road Traffic Act placed a duty in courts to “suspend or disqualify a driving licence for a person found guilty of drinking and driving, reckless and negligent driving”.

People found to be driving over the speed limit by 30km/h in urban areas and 40km/h outside urban areas, also risked having their licences suspended or disqualified.

A first offence would result in a confiscation for six months, a second for five years and a third or subsequent offence would merit a 10-year cancellation or suspension of a licence, he said.

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

A total of 1 149 people were killed on South Africa's roads between December 1 and December 28 in 2010 and 1 304 deaths were recorded for the same period in 2009.

- Sapa/IOL

Female injured after falling from horse

A 21 year old female sustained serious injuries this afternoon when she fell from a horse while riding at a game farm with her family.

The female who is on holiday in South-Africa with her family from Europe, sustained a suspected injury to her back and pelvis. Paramedics from the Western Cape Provincial Department of Health: Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene. Due to the injures sustained and the distance to the nearest appropriate medical facility, on-scene paramedics promptly dispatched the ER24 Discovery Medicopter to the scene.

The Medicopter had landed at the scene and the patient was further stabilised before being airlifted to Mediclinic Milnerton for further medical care.

- ER24

Crackdown on fireworks

Limpopo police have destroyed more than 54,000 illegal fire crackers which were seized over the Christmas long weekend.

Authorities in the province said they were cracking down on trade ahead of New Year's Eve festivities.

Fireworks valued at about R100,000 were confiscated from businesses in several areas including Polokwane and Musina.

Emergency services officials reminded the public to obey by-laws in the areas in which they live, or face arrest.

Fireworks may only be detonated in designated areas.

Meanwhile, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JPMD) said the city's fireworks by-laws would be enforced during New Year's Eve celebrations.

Anyone found guilty of using fireworks incorrectly could face a R1,500 fine.

Residents are only allowed to set off fireworks during specified time frames.

Traders should produce licences to sell the products.

The JMPD's Edna Mamonyane said the specified times to fire explosives on New Year’s Eve was between 10pm and 1am.

On New Year’s Day the times were 7pm to 10pm.

All complaints can be directed to Metro Police on: 011 375 5911.

- EWN

Booze confiscated on SA beaches

Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal authorities on Tuesday warned bathers of their zero-tolerance approach to alcohol on beaches.

City of Cape Town law enforcement officials have confiscated countless bottles since the start of the Christmas weekend.

The council's Richard Bosman said officers are working around the clock.

“Alcohol is always a concern for us. Yesterday [Monday] alone, our staff confiscated 716 bottles of alcohol,” he said.

Around 235 bottles were confiscated from the Camps Bay beach alone.

“We are clamping down on alcohol on the beaches,” added Bosman.

Meanwhile, Lifesaving South Africa's James Ross said KwaZulu-Natal lifeguards have had their hands full, thanks to the strong rip currents.

“We’ve had hot weather here. The beaches have been crowded and lifeguards have been very busy.”

He said only one drowning was reported at the Richards Bay harbour this weekend.

- EWN