The current preliminary report released by the Transport Minister Dipuo Peters in Pretoria on Tuesday shows that 156 deaths were recorded in road accidents during this year’s Easter celebrations. This is an indication that the statistics reduced drastically when compared to 287 Easter fiesta road deaths that was recorded during the same period last year.
The Transport Minister could not help but attribute the 46% reduction in the Easter fiesta road deaths to the high visibility of traffic authorities and a willingness to obey the rules of the road. She commended the efforts they put in to ensure safety on the roads during this period.
Apart from the statistics in the Northern Cape which recorded the same number of Easter fiesta road deaths last year‚ all the other provinces recorded a decrease in Easter road deaths.
The highest decrease was recorded in North-West- 71% – with the number of deaths dropping from 28 to eight.
Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) analysed that the main causes of the fatal crashes on the roads were fatigue‚ drunken and reckless driving etc.
Minister Peters said it is amazing that the sharp decline in Easter fiesta road deaths was achieved despite a 3%increase in the number of registered vehicles in the country.
The total number of registered vehicles in February was 11.7-million.
“We commend the traffic law enforcement officers who maintained high levels of visibility on the roads throughout the Easter period‚” she said.
The minister did not hide her disgust over officials in uniforms who were caught soliciting bribes and issuing unapproved drivers licences.
She revealed that two traffic officers were recently arrested in Gauteng and Limpopo on allegations of soliciting to get bribes from offenders.
The minister called for more results from the RTMC’s anti-corruption unit in dealing with corruption and fraud committed at Driver Learner Testing Centres. This will help stop unworthy people driving around the roads and causing mayhem. Peters say they have targeted some corrupt centres to deal with in order to achieve desired result.