Easter road fatalities increased by 51 percent from 156 over the same period the previous year to 235 this year. This is according to the Minister of Transport’s 2017 preliminary Easter road safety figures.
Joe Maswanganyi presented the report which showed that this year’s Easter period recorded remarkable increase in the number of vehicles on SA roads.
While the total number of registered vehicles increased from 11,818,124 in 2016 to 12,047,404, the number of registered drivers increased by 507, 002 to a new total of 12 283 777.
According to Maswanganyi’s report, human factor is the causal factor for most of the crashes during this Easter period. The total number of fatalities recorded in the crashes increased by 79 (51%) from 156 over the same period in 2016 to 235 this year.
As learnt, 50% of the people who died were passengers. Pedestrians come next at 24.5%, drivers at 19.8% and cyclist at 5.7%. Also, Most fatal crashes happened in the after-hours of the day, especially from 18:00 to 22:00 to the early hours. About 34% of the daily crashes happened between 18:00 to 22:00, related the report.
It was indicated that many of the people who died were victims of hit and run incidents, jaywalking or motorists who were driving at speeds that were too high for circumstances.
The vehicle types that contributed most to the fatal crashes were motor cars and LDVs. Respectively, they made a 49 and 20 percent contributions to the fatal crashes. Minibus vehicles made a 7.6% contribution and buses, 1.1%.
Aside Free State which recorded a 27% reduction in fatalities from 11 fatalities in 2016 to only 8 this year, fatalities increased in all provinces as highlighted below:
- Eastern Cape – recorded a 17% increase in fatalities from 24 fatalities in 2016 to 27 this year.
- Limpopo – recorded a 30% increase in fatalities from 23 fatalities in 2016 to 30 this year.
- Mpumalanga – recorded a 33% increase in fatalities from 21 fatalities in 2016 to 28 this year.
Meanwhile, huge increases were recorded in the following provinces:
- Northern Cape – an increase of 7 (175%) from 4 to11;
- KwaZulu-Natal – an increase of 31 (111%) from 28 to 59;
- Gauteng – an increase of 14 (58%) from 24 to 38;
- Western Cape – an increase of 8 (57%) from 14 to 22; and
- North West – an increase of 4 (50%) from 8 to 12
Those Charged For Easter Road Fatalities
From our gatherings, 61, 340 motorists were charged with various offences ranging from failing to wear seat-belts to the use of cell phones while driving, speeding and overloading.
That’s not all, over 2,800 motorist were arrested for drunken driving, possession of false document and driving without licences and public driver’s permits, inconsiderate, reckless and negligent driving.
More-so, 7 motorists were detained for driving at excessive speeds above 160 km an hour on 120 km zone.
“These included a motorist who was arrested on N6 in Reddersburg in the Free State driving at 227 km an hour while another was caught driving at 225 km an hour on the N1 in Pretoria.
“These are examples of the worst among the worst motorist who have no regard for road rules and the risk they pose to other motorists who obey the rules of the road.
“Our courts will show them no mercy and will give them the harshest penalties permissible,” Minister Maswanganyi promised.