WC traffic chief ‘pleased’ with officers’ work over Easter weekend

There were 35 road deaths recorded over the long weekend in the Western Cape, a significant increase from last year's 27.

FILE: A Western Cape traffic official conducts vehicle checks and random breath testing operations. Picture: @WCGovSafelyHome/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa said despite an increase in the number of road deaths over the Easter weekend he was happy with the work of officers.

There were 35 road deaths recorded over the long weekend, a significant increase from last year's 27.

Last week, provincial authorities said they were hoping to halve the number this year but despite an intensive road safety plan this goal was missed.

Most of those who died were pedestrians.

In the worst accident, eight people died on the R316 near Caledon in a head-on collision on Monday.

Africa said he was disappointed because one death is already too many.

“I believe that our metro officers and the police did exceptionally good because we did not have one gruesome incident with regards to alcohol-related accidents. I think this is due to the fact that our officers worked around the clock and I’m very pleased that we did these alcohol checks,” he said.

Meanwhile, during a road safety campaign in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday, Transport Minister Blade Nzimande said there’d been a 41% decline compared to the same period in 2018.

More than 500 motorists were arrested over the long weekend for various offences, with the majority being for drinking and driving.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation said while it was still processing the number of road crashes and fatalities on the country’s roads over the Easter weekend it also believed there had been a reduction.