Cape Town – Seventeen people have died so far on Western Cape roads over Easter, said provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa.
Eight pedestrians, six passengers, a driver, a cyclist and a motorcyclist were killed between Thursday and Sunday mornings
Nine of those deaths were on Friday, four on Thursday and four on Saturday.
Africa told News24 that 27 people died over Easter weekend last year.
“We are still far away from Monday. All we need to do now is pray that motorists will behave and stay within the rules of the road. Do not take unnecessary chances,” he said.
A record number of drunk drivers were also arrested on Friday and Saturday.
Africa said 53 drivers suspected to be under the influence of alcohol were arrested on national roads in the province.
“That is shocking that so many people think they can drink and drive and get away with it.”
Provincial traffic authorities were pleased that no deaths had taken place so far along the so-called “road of death”, a stretch of the N1 between Beaufort West and Laingsburg.
All public transport vehicles were being stopped and checked along this route.
Africa said minibus taxis were taking people from Cape Town to the Eastern Cape and then driving straight back to pick up the next batch of passengers.
Officers were taking down these vehicle registration numbers to track it along the road and check average speed over distance.
Fatigued taxi drivers would be stopped and forced to rest for up to six hours before being able to drive again.
“We would like to keep that stretch accident-free. If this strategy works, then we know how to take the province further,” Africa said.