Traffic officials have stressed that bakkies are not designed to carry passengers on the back. This follows the deaths of 11 people who were killed when a bakkie and a car collided on the N2 near Mossel Bay on Wednesday.

Traffic officials have stressed that bakkies are not designed to carry passengers on the back. This follows the deaths of 11 people who were killed when a bakkie and a car collided on the N2 near Mossel Bay on Wednesday.

Three of the victims were children and one was a teenager. Another passenger of the bakkie is in a critical condition.

The bakkie was carrying nine passengers. Arrive Alive officials said bakkies are not designed to carry people on the back. Even if a bakkie is fitted with a canopy, people on the back have virtually no protection in an accident.

During December 2002, 232 occupants of bakkies were killed. This is 21 per cent of total deaths.

Since the start of 2003, at least 21 people have died in 11 accidents.

The Minister of Transport, Dullah Omar, said he was concerned about drinking and driving. Omar was commenting after a driver who knocked down and killed a pedestrian on December 31 allegedly had a breath alcohol reading of 1,205 mg/l, which is about five times the legal limit of 0,24 mg/l. The maximum allowable blood alcohol level (BAC) is 0,05 gram per 100ml blood.

Research done by the Medical Research Council during 2000 showed that 46 per cent of the bodies of drivers in mortuaries had a BAC exceeding the legal limit of 0,05.

“It is foolish, dangerous and illegal to drink and drive,” the minister said.