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RTMC cautions drivers

At least 17 people have died on the roads in Gauteng and the North West in the past 24 hours.

At least 17 people have died on the roads in Gauteng and the North West in the past 24 hours. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - As traffic volumes increase on the country's roads this weekend, so have the number of deaths due to accidents.

At least 17 people have died on the roads in Gauteng and the North West in the past 24 hours.

Six people lost their lives when their vehicle crashed into a tree in the Germiston area.

At the same time another six people died in a car crash in Sasolberg.

Five children died when the bakkie they were travelling in lost control between Brits and Rustenburg.

"We want to appeal to all road users to exercise extreme care," said the Road Traffic Management Corporation's (RTMC) Ashraf Ismail.

"Be polite, be patient and be prepared at all times."

There have however been fewer accidents reported in the central Karoo this weekend, compared to the same time a year ago.

Three people were injured in three separate accidents near Beaufort West in the past 24 hours.

The region is notorious for the number of serious accidents over the holidays.

It used to be one of the Western Cape's most dangerous roads but Beaufort West's traffic officials said since the long distance speed cameras were installed along the R61, accidents have drastically dwindled in numbers.

On Friday night the narrow road to the Eastern Cape was bumper to bumper with long distance minibus taxis.

A driver crashed his car into the back of an idle taxi, leaving only one person injured.

The R61 had calmed down by Saturday morning and it seemed the motorists braving the route had pulled off to stretch their legs.

Three traffic squad cars have been patrolling the road and despite their few numbers it seems they are keeping accidents to a minimum.