DESPITE ALL EFFORTS, FESTIVE SEASON ROAD DEATHS IN SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE TO RISE

Despite all efforts in enforcement and education, the death toll on South African roads this past festive season has increased by 5.0 per cent to 1,714 fatalities.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters, in releasing the official 2016/17 festive season accident figures at a media briefing in Midrand, Johannesburg, Tuesday, said the contributing factors to the road accidents were human factors, vehicle factors, as well as road and environmental factors.

We have come from one of the most challenging festive seasons which stretched our resources to the limit, which also put a strain on our law enforcement operations and unleashed untold misery on many families, she added.

Limpopo Province recorded the highest increase in road fatalities, with 244 people killed compared with the previous 186 fatalities while Eastern Cape Province recorded the biggest decline in fatalities with 211 deaths against 265 fatalities last year.

What is alarming is that four provinces -- KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Limpopo -- jointly accounted for 61 per cent of the total number of people who died on the roads in this period," said Peters.

This year we have seen a high number of passengers dying on the roads compared to the previous period when pedestrians constituted a high number of fatalities among road user groups, she said.

Passengers constituted 40 per cent of fatalities, pedestrians 34 per cent, drivers 24 per cent and cyclists 2.0 per cent. Children aged from zero to age four accounted for 6.0 per cent of pedestrian deaths.

She said the fact that an overwhelming majority of fatal crashes resulted from a single motor vehicle overturning and head-on collisions pointed to the incompetence of drivers to handle their motor vehicles.

There is an influx on our roads of drivers who are not competent and qualified to be driving on our roads. I have instructed the Road Traffic Management Corporation to undertake an audit of how driving licenses as well as road safety certificates are processed and issued in our testing stations, so that we can have an appreciation of how it is possible that so many incompetent drivers and un-roadworthy vehicles could be on our roads, Peters said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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