CAPE TOWN– A total of 510 people lost their lives across South African roads over the 2018 Easter holiday period, a 14 per cent increase from the 449 fatalities recorded in 2017, says Transport Minister Blade Nzimande.
Announcing the 2018 preliminary Easter Road Safety Report at Parliament’s media centre here Tuesday, he said the main contributory factors to road fatalities from March 29 to April 9 were related to human behaviour.
The preliminary report shows that the main contributory factors to road fatalities are related human behaviour, with male drivers accounting for 71.1 per cent of fatalities and females for 24.1 per cent, he said.
In 2018, human factor contributed 89.5 per cent to the crashes compared with 74.3 per cent in 2017.
This year, the department defined the Easter period differently from previous years as it previously focused on only on the four-day long-weekend. This year the Easter period was aligned to school holidays, extending it by a further seven days.
The report showed a noticeable shift towards the rural poor who use the roads as the number of pedestrians affected by fatalities increased from 33.8 per cent in 2017 to 37.3 per cent this year. An increase was also recorded in the number of drivers killed from 20.5 per cent in 2017 to 25.6 per cent while passengers saw a significant decline from 43 per cent in 2017 to 35.5 per cent this year.
Nzimande said while the target to reduce fatalities by 10 per cent had not been met, the department was encouraged by the behaviour of the majority of motorists and all road users, who showed a willingness to obey the rules of the road.
He thanked traffic law enforcement officers, the South African Police Service (SAPS), emergency medical services and doctors among others who maintained high levels of visibility on the roads over the Easter period.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK