Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has instructed an investigation into the deadly Hammanskraal crash that claimed the lives of seven people while three others were critically injured.
The Road Traffic Management Cooperation (RTMC) together with the South African Police Service have been instructed to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the crash, while the Road Accident Fund (RAF) has been called on to assist the families of the deceased and injured.
Minister Mbalula also urged road users to obey the rules of the road following the multiple vehicle crash that took place on the N1 freeway between the Pumulani Plaza and Walmansthal in the Hammanskraal area on Friday.
The crash is alleged to have been caused by heavy smoke from veld fires in the area.
“We encourage all road users not only to observe, but also to obey all the rules of the road and ensure they behave responsibly at all times. Roads are a shared space that all users must utilise responsibly. Road safety is also everyone’s responsibility, without exception. It starts with you,” said the Minister on Saturday.
Mbalula said the country has recently experienced a spate of road crashes that have taken place in different provinces in the past few weeks.
Minister Mbalula has extended his heartfelt condolences to the families of the seven people who lost their lives in the fatal accident and wished those injured a speedy recovery.
The Department of Transport will roll-out its revitalised 365 Days Road Safety Action Campaign in line with the Road Safety Strategy which will entail strong elements of road safety operations and education and awareness throughout the country.
The Minister has also instructed traffic law enforcement to intensify stringent operations across the country in an effort to reduce crashes and deaths through among others, high visible policing and hush penalties including the prosecution of traffic law transgressors.
Meanwhile, Gauteng MEC for Public Transport and Roads and Infrastructure, Jacob Mamabolo, says extraordinary interventions are needed to deal with road fatalities.
"I believe that we need extraordinary interventions and a new paradigm shift to reduce the rate of fatalities on our road network," Mamabolo said on Saturday.
Mamabolo urged motorists to always keep a safe following distance and assist government in reducing the road fatalities.
"We cannot emphasise enough, the importance of exercising caution on the roads. It is unfortunate that the accident happened on the eve of the Transport Month campaign aimed at highlighting road safety issues amongst others,” said Mamabolo.
On Friday, the department in conjunction with all five municipalities in the province met in a bid to find solutions that will make Gauteng roads safe and less congested. – SAnews.gov.za