RTMC trying to prevent further accidents

Long distance motorists must take regular breaks to prevent accidents during this festive season.

Four people were killed following a head on collision between a light motor vehicle and a truck in Klerksdorp on 22 December 2012. Picture: Netcare 911

JOHANNESBURG - The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) on Saturday said it was trying everything within its power to reduce road fatalities this festive season.

The latest figures show more than 765 people have been killed in 638 fatal crashes since the beginning of December.

At least 1,771 people died on the country's roads between the 1 December 2011 and the 10 January 2012.

Saturday alone at least 18 people died in various accidents across the country.

The RTMC's Ashraf Ismail said, "We are working with provincial and metropolitan authorities around the country. There are indicators that we may not reach the target, but our efforts will continue to get to as close to the target as possible."

Motorists have again been urged to buckle up and obey the rules of the road.

Ismail said wearing a safety belt is vital in decreasing the number of fatalities

"It's something that we cannot overemphasise. Buckling up is very important. Research has proven that if we can get people wearing seatbelt up to 80 percent, there will be a 30 percent reduction in fatalities."

Meanwhile, the transport department and senior officials in the Eastern Cape will spend Sunday doing road worthy checks on vehicles and advising road users.

Transport Minister Ben Martins and his deputy alongside other departments will give drivers, pedestrians and passengers tips on how to arrive safely at their destinations.

The departments Sam Monareng warned those that break the law.

"We are very worried about the number of road deaths so far. Our officials will be out in full force to really remind people of the importance of road safety."

Monareng urged motorists to have regular breaks during long drives.

"Passengers must request drivers to stop and rest."