R5,1?bln: Durban’s killer traffic costs

2013-10-02 00:00

ACCIDENTS in the eThekwini metro area cost the economy over R5 billion in 2012, a study by the eThekwini Transport Authority (ETA) has revealed.

This finding, made in the authority’s Road Traffic Accidents and Road Traffic Volumes 2011/12 report, revealed that the cost of accidents had nearly doubled since 2005/06.

The cost is calculated using a formula developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) by assigning a monetary value to accidents of varying degree, using variables such as medical costs, vehicle damage and cost to the community, such as loss of business and property damage.

The report, finalised in July and released to The Witness this month, revealed that traffic-related accidents in eThekwini cost R13,9 million per day, up R1 million per day from 2011.

The publication of the report comes just 24 hours after another serious accident on Field’s Hill, in which two people were killed when two taxis were struck by a truck. In September, 23 people died on the same route when a truck rammed through the Josiah Gumede intersection, smashing several vehicles side on.

The report found that the 564 fatal accidents in the metro in 2012, which killed over 600 people, cost R600 million. Seriously and slightly injured victims cost a combined R1,4 billion, while the largest chunk — R2,9 billion — was for accidents where no personal injury was sustained.

“Pedestrian accidents accounted for approximately 52% [R1,1 billion] of the cost of accidents involving injury,” said the report.

But according to the council, there has been a progressive downward trend in the city’s accident rate. From a rate of 101 accidents per 1 000 vehicles in 2007, the rate was 79 per 1 000 vehicles in 2012, an all-time low since the turn of the century.

The report found that males were involved in three times more accidents than females, regardless of whether they were driving, a passenger or pedestrian.

The high rate of pedestrian deaths was also of concern — “on average, 15 pedestrian accidents occur per day and one pedestrian is killed every day”.

“In 2012, 5 476 pedestrians were involved in accidents, of which 350 pedestrians died and 1 290 were seriously injured,” said the report.

The report revealed that accidents at intersections linking arterial routes and freeways to residential “main roads” accounted for 44% of the 609 fatalities in 2012.

“Freeways generally accounted for a small proportion of accidents, but a significant proportion of these accidents were fatal. Pedestrians accounted for the majority of fatalities [on freeways]. A quarter of pedestrian fatalities occurred on freeways, highlighting the problem of pedestrian activity on freeways,” said the report.

The data also showed that 20% of pedestrians involved in accidents were children under the age of 16.

“Overall, the number of fatalities in 2012 shows a decrease in passenger, driver and pedestrian fatalities. The distribution of fatalities by age, however, continues to show that the 20-to 34-year age group accounts for a disproportionate share of driver, passenger and pedestrian fatalities,” the report stated.

It said initiatives to increase road safety awareness have been running since 2005, incorporating schools and reaching about 824 000 pupils.

Pedestrian accidents accounted for approximately 52% [R1,1 billion] of the cost of accidents involving


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.