Gauteng road deaths 'alarmingly high'

2013-12-31 11:12
(Photo: ER24)

(Photo: ER24)

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Johannesburg - Road fatalities in Gauteng are reaching alarmingly high levels this festive season with 177 people already dead, traffic police said on Tuesday.

"It's going up compared to last year," spokesperson Busaphi Nxumalo said in a statement.

The number of pedestrians killed - 88 between 1 December and 26 December - was higher than in the same period last year.

"There were at least five known cases where minor children as young as 3-years-old were reported to have been killed as pedestrians."

In some cases children were killed while running across busy city roads.

"There are cases where impatient drivers allegedly overtook unsafely and hit pedestrians that they did not see. Some of the drivers were also arrested for drunken driving in these cases."

At least half of all accidents on freeways occurred when pedestrians were crossing them. The worst route was the Golden Highway in the Vaal area. Eight people were killed crossing this road this month.

175 crashes

Nxumalo said there had been 175 crashes in which people were killed in the province since the beginning of the month.

Besides the pedestrians, who made up the largest group of fatalities, 43 of those killed were drivers, 36 were passengers, six were motorcyclists, and four were cyclists.

Fifty-seven percent of the reported crashes took place on weekends and public holidays, and most took place between 15:00 and midnight.

"Of particular note is the period from 18:00 on Saturday up to 06:00 on Sunday, when up to 20% of fatal accidents occurred. This correlates with alcohol abuse and festive period behaviour."

Nxumalo said reckless driving, not wearing seatbelts and not taking precautions while driving in the rain or in the dark were other leading causes of road accidents.

Read more on:    soweto  |  johannesburg  |  festive season  |  accidents

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