People killed on roads over festive season – 1 714

Gauteng is among five provinces that recorded an increase in fatalities over the festive season, as revealed by the Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters on 10 January in Midrand.

According to Peters, Gauteng, together with KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape jointly accounted for 61 per cent of the total number of people who died during the festive season. Nationally, Peters revealed that fatalities increased by 5 per cent.

The minister expressed her disappointment at the high rate of car crashes and fatalities experienced during the festive season.
She said the competency of most drivers on the road leaves much to be desired. “At times, the way people drive, you would think they had made an application to die,” said Peters.

Read: 2500 officers, 1500 arrests on Joburg’s roads

She added that the overwhelming majority of fatal crashes were the result of a single motor vehicle overturning, and head-on collisions; and that there is an influx of drivers on South African roads who are not competent or qualified to be driving. To deal with this challenge, the minister said she has instructed the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) to audit how driver’s licenses and roadworthy certificates are issued.

Peters mentioned that over the festive season, more than 432 roadblocks were conducted countrywide and 453 263 fines were issued. A total of 6 805 unroadworthy vehicles were suspended/discontinued and 2 501 vehicles were impounded.

A total of 9 175 motorists were arrested for drunken driving and speeding, with 5 943 (about 65 per cent) being for drunken driving. Passengers constituted 40 per cent of fatalities, pedestrians 34 per cent, drivers 24 per cent, cyclists 2 per cent and children aged four and under contributed 6 per cent.

The minister also mentioned that men were responsible for about 75 per cent of fatalities while females contributed 23 per cent. “Men need to stop trying to impress others by dicing with death,” concluded Peters.

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Belinda Pheto

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