Road death toll reaches 448

THE death toll on the country's roads has reached a staggering 448 in just two weeks. A total of 1348 roadusers were killed during the last festive season.

THE death toll on the country's roads has reached a staggering 448 in just two weeks. A total of 1348 roadusers were killed during the last festive season.

Transport Department spokesperson Logan Maistry said 335 fatal accidents had occurred between December 1 and December 16. The victims included 126 drivers, 184 passengers and 134 pedestrians.

Speaking on the scene near the Mandeni Toll Plaza where seven people died yesterday, Transport Minister S'bu Ndebele said the crackdown on bakkies ferrying passengers would be intensified. He warned that traffic officials would have zero tolerance for reckless drivers and told motorists to obey the law.

"I visited the scene of the accident. This was yet again an unnecessary loss of life. It is the second horrific road crash in just two days in KwaZulu-Natal involving a bakkie," Ndebele said.

"We have called on law-enforcement officials to intensify enforcement on bakkies carrying passengers.

"We also want to repeat our call to public transport operators to ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy and not to put profit above the lives of commuters."

Maistry said: "These are human beings. Mothers, fathers and children."

More than 2000 drunk drivers have been arrested since December, he said.

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