Death toll over the festive season declines

The 2013/2014 festive season death toll on the country’s roads has declined slightly, according to the preliminary reports released by the Department of Transport on Thursday.

Preliminary figures released by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters show that from the period December 1, 2013 to January 7, 2014, there were 1 147 crashes with 1 376 fatalities.

Last year, the number of people who died on South Africa’s roads during the festive season stood at 1 465.

Again the causes of the crashes were attributed to avoidable and manageable behavious such as drunk driving, over-speeding, reckless-overtaking, driver fatigue from long and uninterrupted driving, failure to use seatbelts and other restraints, un-roadworthy vehicles and unlicensed and illegally licensed drivers.

Provincial breakdown

A total of 158 crashes were recorded in the Eastern Cape, with 190 fatalities, Free State 101 and 121 fatalities, Gauteng 223 with 268 fatalities, KwaZulu-Natal 237 with 284 fatalities, Limpopo 112 crashes with 134 fatalities, Northern Cape 36 with 43 fatalities, North-West 73 with 88 fatalities, Western Cape 95 with 114 fatalities and Mpumalanga 112 with 134 fatalities.

Peters said a total of 845 road blocks were conducted during the festive season, where 745 782 vehicles were stopped. She said 201 473 notices were issued, while 2 399 vehicles were discontinued, 2449 were impounded.

She said during the same road block a total of 3 170 drunk drivers were arrested, while a further 69 were arrested for dangerous and negligent driving.

Legislating of driving schools

“We are in the process of legislating driving schools to eliminate random and uncontrolled mushrooming of such schools with exacerbates corruption and endangers lives on our roads.

“Currently, these schools contribute to the road carnage as we are currently experiencing,” she said.

“Ours is a 365 days commitment and action to road safety. We shall relentlessly address issues of Education, Engineering and Enforcement as the three pillars upon which our 365 days campaign is anchored”. – Dipuo Peters

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