Date: 20 April 2017 By: Isabel Venter
Local fire and rescue workers are overjoyed with the fact that, for the second year running, road fatalities during the Easter Weekend have not shown an increase on local roads.
Despite the annual exodus and influx of motorists over Easter Weekend, a period that has become synonymous with a dramatic increase in road fatalities and accidents, local roads proved much safer than those elsewhere in South Africa.
In Gauteng, 33 road fatalities were reported over Easter Weekend while more than 30 people died in vehicle accidents in KwaZulu-Natal. The Western Cape recorded a death toll of 22 during the period. Final figures for the whole country will, however, only be made available at a later stage.
During last year’s Easter Weekend, the Makhado Fire Station in Louis Trichardt reported a total of seven accidents with one fatality. This year, there were 10 reported accidents, again with only one fatality.
As the long weekend approached, the first accident occurred on Wednesday, 12 April, near Tshiozwi Village west of Louis Trichardt. A small sedan overturned and the driver sadly passed away on the scene.
On Good Friday, rescue workers were called out to four accident scenes. The first occurred along the Madombidzha road where a minibus taxi overturned and three passengers sustained minor injuries. The second accident left three passengers of a bus with serious injuries while a further 11 escaped with minor cuts and bruises. The accident occurred along the N1 south when a bus and bakkie collided head-on.
On Saturday and Sunday, accidents were few as most travellers had already reached their destinations.
On Saturday (15th) there were only two reported accidents, the first near the Rivoni School for the Blind in Elim. The driver of a bakkie lost control over his vehicle causing it to overturn. No serious injuries were reported. In the second accident of the day, one person was seriously injured when two bakkies collided head-on along the Elim road. Three more passengers sustained minor injuries.
As the long weekend ended on Monday, rescue teams had to attend to three more accidents.
The first was reported along the Vleifontein road. In this accident three people sustained slight injuries after the sedan they were travelling in, overturned.
The last two accidents were, according to rescue workers, less traumatic with no reported injuries. Two vehicles crashed into each other on the corner of Songozwi and Kruger Street in Louis Trichardt. The last accident of the day was along the Beja/Elim road, when a small bakkie overturned.
Isabel joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in 2009 as a reporter. She holds a BA Degree in Communication Sciences from the University of South Africa. Her beat is mainly crime and court reporting.