Renewed concerns over festive season road carnage

Gauteng has the highest number of road fatalities, with at least 174 people killed in various crashes.

FILE: Officials say taxis, overloaded buses and drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs have contributed to the high numbers. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Traffic authorities have expressed renewed concern over road carnage across the country.

Gauteng currently has the highest number of road fatalities this festive season, with at least 174 people killed in various crashes.

Over 400 motorists have been arrested in the province for traffic violations.

Officials say taxis, overloaded buses and drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs have contributed to the high numbers.

Gauteng traffic police's Busaphi Nxumalo said, "As Gauteng traffic police we've been worried about the number of people who are dying. We know that we are number one when it comes to the statistics. The problem is that most vehicles are overloading - taxis and buses are overloading."

Meanwhile in the Western Cape, more than 130 people have been killed on the roads this month.

This is more than the same period last year.

Western Cape Transport MEC Donald Grant says this is 'gravely concerning'.

"My attitude remains that the driver attitude and behaviour is the number on cause of serious crashes."

WATCH: Footage of a car crash in Cape Town

He says collisions are easily avoidable.

"We know for a fact that if people wear seat belts, we can reduce the number of people that die on our roads by more than half."

At the same time, over 5,000 people have made their way to KwaZulu-Natal over the Christmas weekend.

However, officials say road accidents have decreased by about 24 percent.

Zinhle Mngomzelu, spokesperson for the KwaZulu-Natal road traffic inspectorate, says officials have increased visibility on the roads.