Cops blame reckless drivers for traffic deaths

Alex Matlala andMichael Sakuneka

Alex Matlala andMichael Sakuneka

By yesterday at least 143 people had died on Limpopo's roads since the beginning of December.

The number included 49 drivers, 63 passengers, 28 pedestrians and three cyclists.

Police blamed speeding, drunken driving, careless overtaking and fatigue for the toll.

Boiki Tsedu, spokesman for the provincial department of roads and transport, said the most dangerous roads included the N1 from Johannesburg to Musina, the R71 from Polokwane to Tzaneen, the R37 from Polokwane to Burgersfort, the R521 from Polokwane to Dendron and the R524 from Makhado to Punda Maria.

Tsedu said more road deaths were expected during the new year's weekend if people did not obey traffic rules.

He said the department had increased the number of traffic personnel on major roads in the province to try and keep down the death toll.

About 785 traffic officers were stationed on the roads, especially on the N1 where traffic is expected to build up over the new year's period until schools reopen.

Meanwhile, a bakkie driver was killed and two others were seriously injured in a collision with a taxi on the N1. The taxi driver, believed to have been drunk, was one of the injured.

Police spokesman Captain Maano Sadike said the taxi rear-ended the bakkie while ferrying passengers from a Christmas celebration at a holiday resort outside Louis Trichardt to Botlokwa on Christmas night.