MAHIKENG – Just below 70 lives have been lost on the North West roads by the 1st of January 2024. This is about a 10% reduction of all road fatalities recorded on the Provincial roads since the beginning of the festive period. Cumulatively N4, N12, N14, N18 and R 503 between Mahikeng and Lichtenburg have recorded just below 30 of all the fatalities by New Year’s Day.

No major crash, meaning an accident with more than four fatalities, has been recorded as yet for this period. By New Year’s Day last year 77 lives had been lost with just below 30 of them resulting from 5 major crashes.

About 63% of all the fatalities had been recorded between 18:00 and 00:00. MEC for the North West Department of Community Safety and Transport Management, Sello Lehari is still pleading with all road users to respect all regulations and to be patient on the roads.

“With rains in many parts of the Province, patience becomes important. We plead with motorists to drive to the conditions of the road rather than speed limit. We can do more and must ensure people comply if they are unable to do so on their own. We are requesting corporation of everyone on the road. The Eagles as other Provincial traffic officers have not taken their holidays. This is to ensure that they are present on the roads. Work with them to reduce crashes”, said MEC Lehari.

Traffic is expected to peak from later this week as many will be travelling back to their respective work places. The Head of the Department, Dr Hans Kekana has directed that The Eagles Unit in particular pay attention on all roads that are connecting with other Provinces.

“Statistics indicate heighten traffic flow from 18:00 in the evenings. We want our law enforcement presence to be felt at that time. For whatever reason, it appears people prefer to travel at night. It could be that they believe traffic is low then. But clearly it peaks at that time. Let’s focus on the problematic roads”, said Dr Kekana.

Chief Director for Transport Regulations, Mr Molefi Morule has been personally leading the operations. He is concerned about the crashes in what is generally considered rural roads. Ngaka Modiri Molema is still high with about 38% of all recorded accidents since the beginning of December 2023.

“We have begun to put more patrols on N18 especially in Taung, R49 between Mahikeng and Zeerust and on R503 between Mahikeng and Lichtenburg”, said Mr Morule.

MEC Lehari conveys deepest condolences to the families of the departed and wishes speedy recovery to the injured. He also wishes everyone a happy New Year and asked that “we must strive to arrive alive”. He says the joint law enforcement operations will continue until the middle of January 2024 when learners will be preparing for new academic year.