Huge loss of life in fes­tive sea­son

1 714 DIE ON ROADS ACROSS COUN­TRY

Sowetan - - NEWS - Si­bongile Mashaba

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.

PHOTO: SINO MAJANGAZA

One per­son died and oth­ers were in­jured when the Toy­ota Avanza in which they were trav­el­ling in crashed near Bea­con Bay.

PHOTO: MDUDUZI NDZINGI

Trans­port Min­is­ter Dipuo Peters an­nounces the stats on road fa­tal­i­ties over the hol­i­days.

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