Road Safety and Notification of Sudden Death after an Accident.
Make up a special kit
for your car which includes the following :
Road marking crayons
Pens and paper for recording details.
If you are at a crash scene and are able - use your kit and / or a cellphone to take as many photos / videos as possible.
Remember - The victims are dead and have no voice or rights in South Africa. You need to act as their voice and assist in the case.
Get the following details:
Driver of the vehicle. If they are still at the wheel take a picture to confirm this. Videoof the driver - slurred speech, behaviour, walking, etc.
The registration number of all cars involved, as well as the licence disc numbers.
Where the point of impact was. Glass on the street, skid marks, oil marks, etc.
The surroundings - Road signs, state of the road, street lighting, weather conditions. Try and show these with the cars in position.
Damage to both vehicles.
Any other damage - such as to poles, shop windows, walls, etc.
Take pictures of all those involved, including witnesses. Who was in which vehicle? Who was driving?
Visible injuries to those involved. Where bodies landed. If bodies were removed - take photos of blood stains to show where they landed.
What ambulance took which patient to what hospital.
Who is the S.A.P.S member putting in the docket? His name, force number, station, and try and take a picture of him. (SAPS members on scene could try to pitch you something like - "If we open a drink driving docket the insurance could take long". This will be in a "Fender Bender" with no injuries to both parties. Be aware that you have the right to say you want a case to be opened. If they will not do so tell them you will report them to the I.C.D - Independent Complaints Devision of
The legal procedures by
the Police are governed by the severity of the crash.
- With fender benders and no injuries, every driver at every crash should be tested with a screening breathalyzer. If he/she is positive for alcohol they should be taken for a Draeger Evidential Breathalyzer test within two hours of the crash.
- With serious injuries or death, generally blood tests are taken. It would be advisable to have a breath test done as well, as the results are immediate. If the breath alcohol level is very high a Distric Surgeon should also be seen to certify about the level of intoxication - and to certify that this would impair driving skills.
- It is advisable to do a blood test and a Draeger breathalyzer test if possible. The SAPS Officer must arrest the driver, open a case, complete a SAD 308A form for the blood test, and give the form to a doctor or registered nurse at any hospital, or a district surgeon. This must be done within 2 hours from the crash. The medical personel do not have the right to refuse to take a blood test if they are given the SAP 308A form.
- If they refuse, they can be arrested.
Please don't get involved in the primary investigation with "do this or that". Don't walk up to a SAPS or
One picture tells a thousand words.
Always stand in a safe place so that you are not hit by another car.
Stay calm. Think. Stop bleeding. Stay with the injured until the emergency response
You can not help the injured all the time but your pictures can help to win the war later.
Once a Drink Driving / Reckless and negilent driving / Culpable homicide case has been opened get the following:
Case number. E.g. Jones cas 11/08/2000
Get the name and cell number of the SAPS Investigation Officer on your case. Arrange a meeting. Check how committed he is to the case.
If you have additional witnesses, give the Investigation Officer their details, and keep checking they have given a statement. The earlier statements are given the more credible they are in court.
Ask at least once a month how the investigation is going and ask for progress reports.
Go to the morgue and ask for the report on a medico-legal post mortem examination. You have to pay a small amount to have this photocopied.
Check if there is a forensic report on blood alcohol. Check regularly if it has come. Contact the Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health Pretoria if there are problems and ask for investigation reports.
An accident report will have an AR number. Go to
the PoliceStation and ask for a copy of the AR report. Say it is for insurance purposes.
Which of the above is on the front of your docket? Drunk Driving / Reckless and negilent driving / Culpable Homicide.
Statements must be made under oath for all eyewitnesses / first responders (SAPS) and all parties involved.
Make an appointment to see the public prosecutor (PP) of your case. Discuss all the details of the case.
Ask for a very experienced PP in cases of serious injury / death.
Try and get the case moved up to the Regional Court in cases of serious injury / death. (They are able to give higher fines and sentences.)
If you can afford it, ask for an acting brief / advocate who can watch what is happening and if neccesary advise the PP as thy usually have more experience.
Ask the PP if you may make a statement once the guilty verdict has been given. If you feel the Magistrate / Judge has not given appropriate sentencing give facts and figures about the seriousness of Drink Driving to the South African Economy. Ask for a higher fine / suspension of drivers licence as allowed. Contact SADD to get the facts.
- SADD has been saying for many years that victims of road crashes are victims of crimes - and so should be afforded the same rights as other victims of crimes. Ask to be allowed to fill in a Victim Impact Statement.
Contact SADD for advice.
- SADD can loan you posters & banners for the court case to raise awareness about the seriousness of Drink Driving.See below 19.9.12
Contact the media if you are putting on a display or protest. Get as many people to stand outside Court with pictures of the dead or injured. Make the appropriate placards.
Victim Impact Statement (VIS
A Victim Impact Statement is an important document .
It is your chance to express to the court and the offender how the crime has affected (or is affecting) you.
Information on the effects of a crime can be taken into account when considering the sentencing of the convicted person.
It does not replace your testimony in court.
RECONSTRUCTION EXPERT available.
Johan Joubert is an expert in Accident Reconstruction, Accident Analysis, Cause Analysis, Interpretation of the Law and a Traffic Consultant.
He has over 20 years’ specialist experience in traffic accident reconstruction including the analysis of speed trends, accident rates, correlation between speed and accidents
He has testified as an expert in traffic accident reconstruction in the Supreme Courts all over South Arica. He has been appointed by the Road Accident Fund (RAF) as an expert in Accident Reconstruction for the fund.
He lectures in the field of accident reconstruction, University of Stellenbosch accredited courses, throughout the world.
Website: http://www.tarservices.co.za/" href="http://www.tarservices.co.za">http://www.tarservices.co.za
Johan Joubert | Managing Director |
Tel: +27 21 929 5300 | Fax: +27 21 929 5394 | Mobile: +27 82 650 9620 |