Matome Moremi-Raletswalo, Limpopo Traffic Authority spokesman has attributed the 25 deaths recorded in Limpopo roads during the recent Easter period to reckless driving and drunk and driving among some motorists.
Over 2500 vehicles were recorded in the province’s main toll gates during the festive period, with the Nyl Plaza identified as the main source of frustration among motorists heading back to Gauteng.
This was confirmed by Jane Mulaudzi, Limpopo Roads and Transport spokeswoman who said that motorists did not make matters well when some decided to break all rules when they decided to face oncoming vehicles from Gauteng.
“On Monday many motorists heading towards Gauteng, running out of patience, decided to travel on the opposite direction facing oncoming traffic coming from Gauteng and caused a lot of confusion”, said Mulaudzi.
Last year, the province recorded a low number of road fatalities. Mulaudzi said they were surprised at the high number recorded this time around.
Because of the high number of these deaths in the province, she said they felt they did not work well in comparison to the 2019 season.
“We have seen quite a dramatic rise in road deaths during this period and we are worried that people don’t follow and obey rules during the festive season, many clearly don’t follow rules,” said Mulaudzi.
“Most if the incidents were due to over speeding and even pedestrians and recklessness are some of the things that we have identified as the main causes. We call on the motorists as well to play their roles on our roads,” she said, adding that motorists seemed to have been complying with Covid-19 regulations but added that reports they received were that motorists usually would not wear masks and only wore them when they saw traffic officials.
Meanwhile, Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Jacob Mamabolo said he was shocked that motorists returning back from other provinces may have contracted the Covid-19 virus and feared they would worsen the already stretched situation in the province.
“We are concerned about the number of people who may have contracted the Covid-19 virus but we hope that is not the case,” said Mamabolo.
More than 20 people have died in Mamabolo’s province and this number includes pedestrians, which Mamabolo attributed to clear disregard for road rules.
“Our assessment during the Easter period is that many people opted not to stay at home and instead find themselves all over the place, in clear disregard for Covid-19 regulations,” said Mamabolo.
Many provinces expect to record a rise in infections like many people who had gone to visit relatives all over the country return to provinces like Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and others where they work.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula is expected to announce the country’s overall deaths toll during the recent Easter period.