Transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele said preliminary figures indicate a reduction in road deaths during the past Easter week-end.
“In this regard, we would like to compliment all road users who adhered to the rules of the road, as well as all our law enforcement officers and emergency services personnel who went beyond the call of duty”, Said Ndebele.
He was speaking at the launch of Pedestrian Safety Campaign in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
He said that pedestrians alone account for nearly 40% of road fatalities annually, which can be prevented if the pedestrians and the motorists take precautious measures on the roads.
“The Think Pedestrian campaign is aimed at stabilizing, then reducing, these statistics through intensive awareness and education programmes for drivers and pedestrians.
He said that major contributory factors included speeding, dangerous overtaking, fatigue, drinking and driving or walking and tyre failure.
According to him from 5 to 9 April 2012, 56 roadblocks were held; 905 motorists were arrested including 562 for drinking and driving, 226 for reckless and negligent driving.
He added that resources deployed this past Easter weekend also included the RTMC Mobile Broadcast Unit which comprises of three choppers and four ground crew vehicles which provided regular traffic reports to the media.
“We therefore pay tribute to all law abiding road users for conducting themselves in a manner that says: I’m responsible. Road Safety is my responsibility. We encourage them to be ambassadors of road safety and play their part wherever they find themselves in making our roads safer”, said Ndebele.
The breakdown of fatal crashes per province is as follows (fatal crashes for 2011 in brackets):
KwaZulu-Natal: 30 (43)
Gauteng: 23 (37)
Limpopo: 32 (32)
Mpumalanga: 25 (29)
North West: 19 (12)
Free State: 15 (18)
Eastern Cape: 20 (25)
Western Cape: 13 (9)
Northern Cape: 4 (10)