More than 1 300 road deaths this festive season

2014-01-09 12:45

Preliminary figures show that there was a “very minimal” reduction in road deaths this festive season.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters today revealed that there were 1 357 road fatalities in 1 147 accidents from the beginning of December until Tuesday.

This was down from 1 558 fatalities in 2012, although this year’s figures may still rise because some holiday makers only return to work next week.

The number may also increase because people who survive accidents but die from their injuries within 30 days are also added to the total figure.

Peters said this was a “slight, very minimal reduction in terms of the road carnage”.

The minister said that she did not think the government’s road safety campaign was failing, but said South Africa needed the “same kind of vigour and drive we had with the HIV and Aids campaign”.

Peters said that if three Boeing 747-400 jumbo jets crashed, the death toll would equal the carnage on our roads over the season.

“Imagine what would happen if three planes of that size crashed in South Africa, it would be a catastrophe,” she said.

According to Peters, the chief causes of crashes were drunk driving, speeding, reckless overtaking, driver fatigue, failure to use seat belts, unroadworthy vehicles and unlicensed and illegally licensed drivers.

Other figures indicate that 845 road blocks were conducted in which 745 782 vehicles were stopped.

Peters said 3 170 drunk drivers were arrested and 2 449 vehicles were impounded.

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