Nearly 200‚000 cars on SA's busiest freeways leads to fears of increased Easter death toll

Over 190‚000 vehicles were recorded on South Africa’s major routes‚ returning home from vacation and religious pilgrimages on Monday.

Transport department spokesman Collen Msibi said traffic volumes had ”skyrocketed”‚ on the country’s national roads with the N1 recording the highest traffic numbers.

 A total of 75‚216 vehicles were recorded on the N1‚ which runs from Cape Town through Bloemfontein‚ Johannesburg‚ Pretoria and Polokwane to Beit Bridge.

This was followed by the N3 from Durban to Johannesburg‚ which recorded 54‚636 vehicles.

Msibi said statistics detailing the Easter death toll would be released later in the week.

But Arrive Alive is not optimistic about a decrease in fatalities this year.

“It is disheartening to all in the road safety environment and enforcement to find that three incidents alone caused 33 fatalities. This is a bit of a reality check on how errors in driver behaviour can cause severe tragedy‚” said Arrive Alive’s advocate‚ Johan Jonck.

“It will be insightful as well not only to be informed of the numbers of fatalities – we have had several positive responses from the public on visible enforcement they have witnessed.

“The number of transgressions and fines issued during Easter might provide a more accurate view as to driver behaviour on our roads which appears to be highly questionable and alarming‚” Jonck added.

Police are investigating an accident that killed nine people‚ including three children‚ on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast on Monday night. It is understood that two minibus taxis collided with a third taxi on the N2 near Port Shepstone.

On Saturday morning 15 people died in a bus accident near Ntunjambili‚ in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The passengers on the bus were heading to a traditional wedding at Nkandla.

Msibi said traffic law enforcement officers were out in full force.

“We are hoping their presence helped prevent more accidents from taking place. But we can’t eliminate all delinquent behaviour on the roads. One life lost is still too many.”

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