Festive season road death toll hits 1 475
Pretoria - At least 1 475 people were killed in festive season road accidents, Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele said on Monday.
Preliminary figures from the Road Traffic Management Corporation for the period from December 1 last year to January 10 reflected a total of 1 230 fatal crashes.
"The most common causes of the crashes during the 2011/12 festive period include speeding in unfriendly weather conditions, reckless and inconsiderate driving, and abuse of alcohol by drivers and pedestrians," Ndebele said in Pretoria.
"The non-wearing of seatbelts has been found to be a major contributor to fatalities or serious injuries. Emergency services personnel can testify that far too many people have been killed due to not buckling up".
Other contributors included fatigue, especially among public passenger transport drivers, lack of vehicle fitness, and pedestrian negligence, he said.
The number of fatalities in 2010/11 eventually totalled 1 704. This was up from the 1 551 that was initially announced by the minister during his annual festive season statistics release.
The focal point for 2012 would be reducing the fatality rate.
More than 40 people died on South African roads every day and that needed a major shift in the road safety approach, Ndebele said.