SA road death toll escalates

Transport Dept wants national dialogue as SA road death figures climb over 1060.

Emergency personnel attending to an accident scene. Picture: Netcare 911 via Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Ben Martins said on Thursday the high number of fatalities on the country's roads emphasise the need for a national dialogue.

According to figures by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), 1068 people were killed in various accidents since the beginning of December.

The coporation said it was disappointed with the rise in fatalities.

It said on average 42 people per day were killed on the country's roads since the beginning of December.

The minister again warned that motorists who break traffic laws will be arrested.

Meanwhile, in the Western Cape traffic authorities said more than 170 people were arrested for drunk driving this month alone.

Accidents in the province already claimed the lives of 145 people since the beginning of December..

Western Cape Traffic Chief Kenny Africa said drunk driving remains a problem.

"This is worrying because we want drunk drivers to be off our roads. Our traffic officers are out in full force ensuring that drunken drivers are off our roads."

He warned motorists not to get behind the wheel of a car if they have had one too many.

"We will take no nonsense! If a person wants to take a chance driving under the influence of liquor, our officers will take them off the road, arrest them and take them to the police station where they will be kept until the next court date."