Divulging that a total of 845 fatalities have been recorded on South African roads in 19 days, South Africa’s Transport Minister, Dipuo Peters urged the public to be more vigilant at SA roads.
According to the Minister, the 845 fatalities was recorded between 1st to 19th December.
Minister Peters made the revelation while she was addressing the media in Midrand on the state of the Festive Season Road Safety Campaign.
She wailed that the number of fatalities has increased by 16% compared to the same period in the previous year.
“There are 684 fatal crashes recorded since 1 to 19 December 2016. Nationally, there is an increase of 16% in comparison to the same period in the previous year,” said Minister Peters.
She identified the causes of the accidents to include: inclement weather and wet surfaces, human and vehicle factors.
The human factors which cause accidents include pedestrian jaywalking at 30.7%, speeding accounted for 15.2%, hit and run accounted for 10.2% and overtaking facing oncoming vehicles accounted for 7.6% of the accidents.
Driver errors contributed to 23.8% of the road fatalities, passengers accounted for 39.2% and pedestrians 34.3%. While men constituted 78.4% of the fatalities, Women account for 21.2%.
The Minister also revealed that the provinces that recorded increase in crashes include KwaZulu-Natal with an increase of 32, Limpopo with an increase of 28 and the North West by 9.
Likewise, crashes in Mpumalanga increased by 26, Gauteng by 3 and the Free State by 2.
In line with the foregoing, she said: “the Northern Cape has recorded a decrease of four in crash figures, with Eastern Cape and the Western Cape stabilizing at the same figure of 82 compared to the same period last year.”
She further revealed that provinces which recorded increase in fatalities were Limpopo with 63, Mpumalanga with 44, KwaZulu-Natal with 31, the Free State with 17 and the North West with 6.
Decrease in fatalities were recorded in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape and Gauteng.
Above all, Minister Peters lamented that “these are really trying times. We need everyone to accept that roads are shared spaces and that road safety is everyone’s responsibility,” she begged.
Adding that 2,509 motorists were arrested for drinking and driving in Gauteng, she said: “we are seeking to reclassify drunken driving…to a more severe…offence to ensure those who negligently cause crashes on the roads do not get bail easily.” They deserve to spend time behind bars, she proclaimed.