The death toll on SA roads has been released and Transport Minister Dipuo Peters says over 1700 deaths were recorded over the 2016/17 festive season.
Speaking on Tuesday, the minister told reporters in Midrand that reports of 1 714 death record received from SA roads was a 5% increase over the last festive season.
Around 75% of those who perished were males; 23% were women. An astonishing 81% of the victims of the road carnage were blacks and the remainder were other races.
“… men need to stop trying to impress others by dicing with death,” said Minister Dipuo Peters
Last month, she announced that more than 800 fatalities was recorded on the roads since 1 December. This gave it a staggering 17% increase on the country’s roads since 1 December.
In her December statement, the minister noted that the number of crashes and fatalities over the festive season was “unacceptably high” and alcohol and reckless driving have been identified as major contributors.
This record is far above the 1 December 2015 to 11 January 2016 record announced by the minister last year. Accident went up by 11 percent giving a total of 1,253 crashes from 1 December 2015 to 11 January 2016.
Half of the road crashes recorded early last year involved light vehicles and light delivery vehicles, which formed about 20 percent while taxis make up another 10 percent and majority of deaths, at 38 percent, were passengers while drivers made up 23 percent.
Meanwhile, Eastern Cape recorded the biggest decline of 20%, with 211 fatalities on our roads during the 2016/2017 festive season. This is a little lower than 265 it recorded in the 2015/2016 period.
Limpopo province had the highest increase at 31%. KwaZulu Natal, Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Limpopo contributed around 61% of the total number of people who died.
“The majority of crashes were as a result of single motor overturning and head on collisions and point to incompetence of drivers,” she told reporters.
“We are working with the Justice Department to reclassify drunken driving from schedule 3 to schedule 5 so as to mete out harsh sentences [to renegade drivers],” Dipuo Peters said, pointing out that her Department was working with the Justice Department of Justice on the admissibility of footage from social media and dash cam to help convict reckless drivers.
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She, therefore, called on Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) toundertake an audit of how driving licences are issued and South Africans should desist from reckless behaviour on the roads – especially to avoid drinking and driving.