Fewer people died on the roads this festive season, Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi said on Monday.
Releasing the 2017/18 festive season road safety report for the period 1 December 2017 to 9 January 2018 he said 1‚527 people who died on the roads in that period compared to 1‚714 fatalities in the same period the previous year.
The report indicates a general improvement in how road safety messages are being received by both passengers, motorists, and passengers, even though there was an increase in pedestrians and driver fatalities compared to the same period in 2016/2017.
“We recorded declines in a number of fatalities in seven provinces with the exception of Western Cape and North West provinces,” said Maswanganyi.
Maswanganyi praised Limpopo for having the lowest number of fatalities.
Maswanganyi, 1527 people died compared to 1714 fatalities in the same period the previous year.
He says what is concerning is the increased fatalities among young people aged between 25 and 34.
“An increase in fatalities among youthful drivers between ages of 25 and 34 was recorded but a decline in fatalities among drivers between ages of 35 to 49,” Maswanganyi said.
Maswanganyi says speed plays a big role in many of the accidents that claimed lives but officials were equally prepared to deal with speedsters.
He said road officials managed to arrest 922 speeding drivers compared to 785 in the 2016/17 period.
He also praised the vigorous way in which road traffic officials dealt with motorists who were found to have consumed alcohol.
Maswanganye said fewer offenders were arrested compared to the same period a year before.
“Number of motorists arrested for drinking and driving declined from 5943 in 2016/17 to 3301 2017/18 period,”sad Maswanganye.
Officials managed to issue 453 263 fines for the 2017/2018 period compared to 304 603 for the 2016/2018 period.
A decline in fatalities was announced among young pedestrians between the ages of 25 and 34, however, there was an increase in fatalities in pedestrians aged between 35 to 44.
Meanwhile, Bakwena Toll Road announced today that it recorded only nine fatalities in, December 2017 and three between 1 and 15 January 2018 on the N1N4 toll route.
This figure is lower than 2016 when 12 fatalities occurred in December 2016 and 19 in January 2017.
Bakwena spokesperson Liam Clarke says the country’s safety drive over the festive season was characterised by increased visibility of law enforcement as well as roadblocks which checked for roadworthiness, overloading and alcohol abuse.
Clarke says in December, the toll road experienced a 2% increase in the number of vehicles on Bakwena-managed routes.
“This means, despite increased volumes and greater opportunity for incidents, the statistics can be viewed in an even more favourable light.”
Clarke says they are pleased that the ongoing efforts of the Department of Transport and various other stakeholders around the country have seen an overall decline in incidents.
He also urged motorists to adhere to road safety measures all the time.
“In fact, our wish for motorists in 2018 is that they always drive carefully and reach their destinations safely,” added Clarke.