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Festive season fatality statistics show a 13.9% decrease

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Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula

Government has recorded significant gains in its efforts to arrest road fatalities during the 2022/23 festive season period, as 1 451 people lost their lives compared to 1 685 fatalities in the previous period.

Addressing media on Tuesday, Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, said the decrease in road fatalities for the period, which began on 1 December 2022 and ended on 11 January 2023, translates to 13.9%.

Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula

Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula

“We also recorded a 6.5% reduction of fatal crashes compared to the previous year when we recorded 1 295 fatal crashes, compared to 1 211  this year. Human factors remain a principal driver of fatalities on our roads, accounting for 87% of all crashes. These are followed by road and environmental factors at 8%, with vehicle factors at 5%,” Mbalula said at the briefing held at the N1 Grasmere Toll Plaza.

The Minister said pedestrian fatalities remain a major source of concern, as pedestrian fatalities significantly increased by 10% year-on year, from 31% in the previous period to 41% in the current festive season.

“In Gauteng and Western Cape, pedestrian fatalities constitute 54% of all fatalities, implying that for every 100 people that died from a road crash, 54 were pedestrians.

“For this festive season, passenger fatalities recorded a 7% decline, with 31% recorded in the current period, compared to 38% in the previous festive season.

“Driver fatalities declined from 28% in the previous period to 27% in this festive season. Cyclist fatalities also declined from 3% in the previous period to 2% in the current festive season,” Mbalula said.

Most crashes occurred between 5pm and 10pm, particularly on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Light motor vehicles contributed 39% to the total fatal crashes, followed by light delivery vehicles at 16%. Minibus vehicles contributed 7% and trucks accounted for 4%.

Performance in respect of each province is as follows:

  • Western Cape fatalities dropped from 207 to 131, resulting in a 36.7% reduction.
  • Mpumalanga fatalities dropped from 189 to 144, resulting in a 23.8% reduction.
  • Northern Cape fatalities dropped from 65 to 51 resulting in a 21.5% reduction.
  • North West fatalities dropped from 119 to 94, resulting in a 21% reduction.
  • Limpopo fatalities dropped from 226 to 179, resulting in a 20.8% reduction.
  • KwaZulu-Natal fatalities dropped from 275 to 240, resulting in a 12.7% reduction.
  • Eastern Cape fatalities dropped from 210 to 205 resulting in a 2.4% reduction.
  • Free State fatalities dropped from 119 to 117, resulting in a 1.7% reduction.
  • Gauteng fatalities increased from 275 to 290, resulting in a 5.5% increase.

Law enforcement interventions

The Minister said law enforcement interventions were critical in reducing the carnage on the roads during the festive season.

“Over 370 joint operations were executed during the period under review, in line with the focus areas that were presented on 8 December 2022, which focused on pedestrian enforcement, vehicle road worthiness, public passenger transport, drunken driving, execution of warrants of arrest and speed law enforcement.

“Four hundred and seventy-four (474) K78 road blocks were effected during this period, with over 1.3 million vehicles stopped and checked. Over 255 000 notices were issued during this period,” the Minister said.

During December 2022, over 1 200 vehicles and trucks were stopped and checked, with this number increasing to 1 204 vehicles stopped in the month of January 2023.

“We have to decisively deal with the rampart corruption prevalent in our Driving Licence Testing Centres (DLTCs), as a significant number of vehicles on our roads are unlicensed, with others driving with fraudulent licence discs.

“Unlicensed vehicle offences stood at 25 244. This corruption translated to a revenue loss for the Gauteng government of R1.2 billion in the last financial year. The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), the Hawks and the Gauteng province must urgently attend to this matter and bring the perpetrators to book,” Mbalula said.

He said enforcement continues to be a critical part of road safety, including road user education and road infrastructure engineering.

“Speeding infringements remain high on the offence list at 32 110. The majority of arrests over the 2022 festive season have been for warrants executed at 1 600, operating licences at 1 094 and 947 drunken driving cases were opened,” Mbalula said.

He said government has committed to deploying technology as an additional intervention to strengthen law enforcement and make the roads safer.

“Efforts to have visible policing at hazardous locations will continue to be a priority, especially at accident-prone times. Eradicating corruption through the RTMC’s national anti-corruption unit remains our key priority. I must commend our traffic officers, police officers and all members of the emergency and rescue services who sacrificed their time away from their loved ones to ensure that you and I reach our destinations safely,” the Minister said. – SAnews


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