The festive season has begun on a gloomy note in the Western Cape with various road accidents claiming the lives of 34 people over the weekend, including eight children of ages ranging from three to 17.
Causes of the accidents included speeding, drunk pedestrians walking in the road and driver fatigue among others.
Authorities say that 35 drunk drivers were arrested as well as others on charges of reckless driving and negligence behind the wheel.
Provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa told IOL that investigations into a minibus accident that claimed the lives of 12 people on the N1 near Touws River, about 182km outside Cape Town, were underway.
The vehicle carrying 22 passengers was on its way to Cape Town when the driver, who was also killed in the accident, lost control of the vehicle before it overturned. Ten others were injured in the incident.
On Monday morning another five people died in separate accidents, including a 14-year-old who was killed in a taxi crash. Along with this, a taxi driver who refused to respect the rules of the road while overtaking a string of vehicles in the face of oncoming traffic was arrested.
A bakkie collided with a train in Somerset West on Monday morning after failing to stop before the crossing, however no fatalities were reported.
Officials are taking the road law very seriously as the festive season progresses, as roughly 83 road accident fatalities have taken place since December 1.
“We simply have a no-nonsense approach when it comes to reckless and negligent driving, and our message to the taxi drivers out there is, if you’re not going to behave on our roads, we will arrest you,” said Africa.
Picture: CPT Social Services Group