Huge loss of life in festive season
1 714 DIE ON ROADS ACROSS COUNTRY
DESPITE 1 714 people dying on the roads over the festive season, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters believes South Africa is winning the war against fatalities.
Peters was releasing the preliminary report on accidents over the festive season, which showed an increase of 5% compared to the same period last year.
“The Eastern Cape with 211 fatalities recorded the biggest decline in fatalities with a reduction of 20% compared to the same period last year when it had 265 fatalities …
“The same goes for North West which recorded 8%, the Western Cape 6% and Northern Cape 5% … This is a clear indication that it can be done and we can win this battle,” Peters said at a media briefing in Midrand, Johannesburg yesterday.
She said five other provinces recorded increases in fatalities.
“It is disturbing to note that Limpopo recorded the highest increase of 31%, moving from 186 fatalities in the previous period to 244 in this period. The KwaZuluNatal and Free State equally recorded an increase in the percentage of fatalities at 18% and 17%, respectively.
“What is alarming is that KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Limpopo jointly accounted for 61% of the total number of people who died on the roads in this period,” Peters said.
Passengers accounted for 40% of the fatalities, followed by pedestrians at 34% and cyclists at 2%.
“It is worth mentioning that the most problematic days of the week remained weekends … This is due to [the] extraordinary extended long weekend of the festive season.”
Road Traffic Management Corporation chief executive Makhosini Msibi said there was an increase in motor vehicles on the road and that should also be taken into account.
He said most accidents occurred on weekends at around 4am and between 8pm and 10pm.
“Human factor accounted for 79.1% of the accidents,” Msibi said.
He said drivers accounted for 24% of those who lost their lives. The “problematic” age group was between 25- to 40-year-olds. “Drivers on the roads are a problem,” he said.
He said a KwaZulu-Natal motorist was fined R40 000 and his licence suspended for a year after he was caught driving at 223km/h in a 120km/h zone. “The licence should have been cancelled,” Msibi said.
The highest speedster of the 18 arrested was caught travelling at 239km/h in Tshwane.
There were 5 943 motorists arrested for drunken driving, accounting for 65% of total arrests.
One person died and others were injured when the Toyota Avanza in which they were travelling in crashed near Beacon Bay.
Transport Minister Dipuo Peters announces the stats on road fatalities over the holidays.