1676 fatalities recorded over 2017/2018 festive period
January 22, 2018
Johannesburg, South Africa: The Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi today released the 2017/2018 festive season road safety report which revealed that the death toll on South African roads decreased by 11 percent over the festive period compared to 2016.
Maswanganyi announced that between December 1, 2017 to January 15, 2018, there were 1676 fatalities that took place compared to 1 875 fatalities that took place in 2016. The minister also added that in the coming months they will intensify the implementation of the Road Safety Strategy and roll out Evidential Breath Analysis Centres in nine provinces to speed up the prosecution of those who drive under the influence of alcohol and narcotic substances.
“Our preliminary festive season fatalities for the period starting December 1, 2017 to January 9, 2018 show that there were 1 527 people who died on the roads in that period compared to 1 714 fatalities in the same period the previous year.
“This represents a 11% decline which surpassed the 10% target. When considering the entire holiday period from December 1st, 2017 to January 15th, 2018, there were 1 676 fatalities compared to 1 875 fatalities for the same period in the previous year,” said Maswanganyi.
The 10 percent target was set at the launch of the festive season on the December 05, 2017, where the department hoped to achieve a 10 percent reduction in road fatalities during the festive period.
He added: “An impressive 43% decline in fatalities was recorded on the top 13 identified hazardous routes with 244 deaths recorded on these routes compared to 429 in the previous period.
“However, there was a disturbing increase in the number of fatalities within the municipal boundaries of eThekwini, Johannesburg, Nkangala, Cape Town, Ekurhuleni, Ehlanzeni, Capricorn, City of Tshwane, Thabo Mofutsanyane and Bojanala," he asserted.
According to the report there were noticeable declines in the number of fatalities in seven provinces except the Western Cape and the North West provinces which recorded seven percent and 11 percent increases.
Limpopo was labeled as the “star performer” as it managed to have the highest reduction in the number of fatalities followed by Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.
The highest number of fatalities was recorded among pedestrians as it increased from 34 percent to 37 percent.
Fatalities among drivers increased from 23 percent to 27 percent.
The passenger fatalities were recorded to have decreased from 41 percent to 35 percent.
Maswanganyi added: "While there was an increase in fatalities among youthful drivers between the ages of 25 and 34, there was an encouraging decline in the number of fatalities among drivers between the ages of 35 and 49.
"A significant decline was noted among youthful pedestrians aged 25 to 34. But there was disturbing increase among those aged 35 to 44."
Improved compliance with the rules of the roads was also recorded he reiterated.
Traffic violations decreased from 453 263 to 304 603.
The number of people who were fined for failing to wear safety belts and the number of discounted vehicles had also declined.
The number of motorists that were arrested for drunken driving also declined from 5943 in the 2016/2017 period to 3301 in 2017/2018.
The minister added that speed continued to be “a major headache” as the number of drivers arrested for speeding increased from 785 in 2016/2017 to 922 in 2017/2018.
He further stated five motorists were arrested in Limpopo, Gauteng, KZN and Western Cape for driving at speeds exceeding 220 kilometers an hour in a 120 km zones.
Maswanganyi also remarked that efforts by emergency medical personnel, nurses and doctors who were on duty over in accident and emergency units of our hospitals assisting to save the lives road accident victims, were appreciated.