City’s lethal risks for young drivers

The MD of Midlands Emergency Medical Services (MEMS) Mark Winterboer says that generally much more should be done to supervise young adults. He said the community at large must get involved adding it was unfair to blame drinking establishments for the carnage.
“There is a clear trend over weekends, particularly long weekends and month-ends when we see an increase in collisions involving young adults. My big concern and I speak as a parent myself, is the need for more parental supervision and community involvement. We cannot blame the establishments, people can drink anywhere. We need to get involved to find solutions,:” said Winterboer.
Some of the risk factors cited by Winterboer are young adults between 18 and 24-years-old, fast cars and the consumption of alcohol and drugs.
“We have parents spending money buying their kids fast cars where they cannot handle the speed and when you couple this with either alcohol or drug consumption you have a really lethal combination,” said Winterboer adding that the high risk areas spanned from Market Road on the N3 all the way up to the Hilton and Howick off-ramps on the N3.


A prominent Pietermaritzburg family is mourning the tragic loss of their son Calvin Potgieter (20), a Maritzburg College old boy who was killed in an accident on the N3 between Hilton and Cedara. It is believed Potgieter lost control of his VW Polo, veered off the national road up an embankment before rolling numerous times. One of the passengers in the car sustained critical injuries while the other, who was buckled in the rear, sustained less severe injuries.
Midlands Emergency Medical Services together with Netcare 911 attended the scene, provided advanced life support and rushed the injured to local trauma centres. It is believed that Potgieter and his friends had been at a pub prior to the accident.

Potgieter had matriculated two years ago and was working at his father’s business, Dave’s Tiling. In the aftermath of the accident the owner of a popular Hilton pub The Pot and Barrel has introduced a range of support services for patrons who are under the influence of alcohol.
“We fully aware of the possible dangers that accompany our business and that is why we have enlisted the services of three taxi companies which transports people that might have a bit too much to drink to their various destinations safely . We’ve also instructed security to monitors overly-intoxicated individuals and urge them to sleep in their cars before heading on the road,” said the owner of the Pot and Barrel.
MEMs’ Winterboer however reiterated his call for the entire community to get involved in reducing the carnage on the road, particularly the high frequency of young adults involved in accidents over the weekends.
In May last year three young Pietermaritzburg men were killed late on a Friday evening while returning from an outing in Hilton to their homes in Pietermaritzburg. Last month a high-impact accident on the N3 near New England Road claimed the lives of three people – two young adults in one vehicle and the mother of a 17-month-old baby in the other vehicle.

Maritzburg sun reporter

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