Three drivers apprehended in KwaZulu-Natal for travelling at speeds of 174, 202 and 208 km/h respectively were handed heavy sentences on Wednesday.

Three drivers apprehended in KwaZulu-Natal for travelling at excessive speed were handed their sentences on Wednesday. This comes just a few weeks after the commencement of this year's Arrive Alive campaign.

CARtoday.com yesterday reported on two cases where drivers were arrested for travelling at treacherous speeds on freeways. But even some inventive reasons were not enough to save the speedsters from the law.

One driver, Thabo Mabunda from Johannesburg, was find R5 500 at the Mooi River magistrate's court on Wednesday. He was caught speeding at 174 km/h in a 120 km/h zone on the N3 at Mooi River on Tuesday, driving an Audi Quattro 2, 7 Turbo while supposedly rushing his 'pregnant wife' to hospital.

Also on Wednesday, a medical assistant from Pretoria, Beatrix Van Schalkwyk, was fined R16 000 in the Scottburgh magistrate's court. She was caught on Tuesday afternoon speeding at 202 km/h in a 120km/h zone in a Volkswagen Polo Classic. The reason for her death-defying speed? Her passenger had broken his tooth!

Avalon Edward van der Heever from Gauteng was arrested on December 5 for travelling at 208 km/h in a 120km/h zone in a BMW 540i. He stated that he was late for a meeting and was fined R15 000 in the Estcourt magistrate's court.

Meanwhile, the national transport department has announced that the road death toll for the period December 1 to December 14 is about 15 per cent lower than the same period last year.

In the past two weeks, 323 people were killed in crashes as opposed to the 382 who died in the corresponding period last year, deputy director-general Sipho Khumalo said.

The statistics are provisional, as some late reports were still expected.

"These figures are especially encouraging in the light of an increase in traffic volumes of about five to six percent over previous years," Khumalo said.