A preliminary Festive Season Road Safety Report reflects that 1 612 people lost their lives on the SA’s roads in just over a month during the festive season – from 1 December 2018 to 8 January 2019. According to the report released by Minister of Transport, Blade Nzimande, on Wednesday at a media briefing.

Preliminary figures indicate that South Africans managed to reduce crashes and fatalities at the mid-point of the festive period.

“At the mid-point of the season in December last year, we reported that crashes had increased by 5 percent and fatalities by 16 percent. We managed to reduce crashes by two percent and seven percent for fatalities,” Nzimande said.

He also added that the Northern Cape, Free State and Eastern Cape recorded the highest percentage increases in fatalities over the festive season. “This resulted in an 80 percent increase in Northern Cape from 30 to 54 fatalities. The Free State increased by 28 percent moving from 124 fatalities in the previous year to 159 this year, while the Eastern Cape recorded a 22 percent increase moving from 195 fatalities to 238,” Nzimande said.

The report indicates that Gauteng and the North West were the only provinces that recorded percentage decreases in the number of fatalities. “Gauteng recorded a commendable 19 percent decrease while the North West recorded only a two percent decrease,” the Minister said.

According to the report, 36 percent of people dying from road-related incidents were passengers. This indicates an increase from the 34 percent recorded last year.

“Pedestrian fatalities have shown a two percent decrease from 37 percent last year to 35 percent this year while driver fatalities remained at 27 percent and cyclist at two percent.”

The reduction in fatalities may also be attributed to the introduction 24/7 traffic official shifts, as well as the rollout of the Evidential Breath Alcohol Test (EBAT) to deal with drinking and driving. According to the report, at least 36% of people dying from road-related incidents were passengers. This is an increase from the 34% recorded last year.

The statistics show that human error accounts for 90% of contributory factors to fatal crashes compared to vehicle factors that contributed 4% while road, while environmental factors contributed 6%.

During the festive season, increased law enforcement patrols and visibility on major routes such as the N1, N3 and N4 reduced the number of accidents.

“As a result of these interventions, there was no major crash with multiple fatalities on the N1 between Bela-Bela and Polokwane and a total of 1 021 un-roadworthy vehicles with overloaded trailers were discontinued,” Nzimande said.

“We continue to review our policies and legislation that are aimed at improving safety on our roads through proper infrastructure, ensuring safer vehicles, influence road user behaviour and ensuring proper post-crash response,”  the Minister added.

Source: SA Gov News

Picture: Pixabay

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