Reasons for increase in road fatalities stated

2018-05-09 06:01
The new MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison in the Northern Cape, Lebogang Motlhaping.Photo: Christiaan Cloete

The new MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison in the Northern Cape, Lebogang Motlhaping.Photo: Christiaan Cloete

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The Northern Cape has experienced an increase of 4 718 vehicles – from 273 464 registered vehicles in March 2017 to 278 182 registered vehicles in March 2018.

This increase has partially resulted in more strain on traffic officers, impacting on law enforcement.

Lebogang Motlha­ping, the new MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison in the province, has however vowed to work on road safety challenges by increasing law enforcement.

During a media briefing on Wednesday (02/05), he said a total of 131 traffic officials and road safety officers were deployed in the province.

The 2018 provincial Easter Road Safety Report recorded an increase of 17 fatalities. The total amount of fatalities recorded for 2018 is 27, compared to 10 in 2017. Of these, 13 were drivers, 11 passengers and 3 pedestrians.

A number of road blocks where held in Kimberley, Upington and Springbok and at least 5 927 vehicles were stopped and checked. These offences were recorded:

  • 575 notices were issued and two vehicles were impounded.
  • 1 209 drivers were scanned for alcohol, 38 for overtaking in oncoming traffic or crossing the barrier line, and 219 speed summonses were issued.
  • 113 fines for driving licences were issued and 43 fines for unlicenced vehicles.
  • 11 fines were issued for passenger overloading, 6 for faulty tyres and 13 for the failure to produce public transport documents.
  • Three drivers were arrested – one for a falsified driving licence, one for speeding and one for drunken driving.
  • The highest speed recorded in this period was 162 km/h in a 120 km/h zone on the R27 near Calvi­nia.

Motlhaping said going forward, an in-depth analysis of the circumstances surrounding each accident needed to be done to inform those involved in coming operations.

He admitted to there being loopholes in operations.

“One thing we have learnt, is that we need to commit to patrolling our high-risk areas without releasing our hold in other areas,” said Motlhaping.

“This will result in road law enforcement that is both streamlined and spread, with a sustained clampdown on lawlessness and negligence everywhere.

“We will continue and intensify our road safety awareness programmes, especially among key identified sectors or demographics, which will arise from a study of contraventions and the road accidents themselves.

“It is not only the routes with high risk we must identify, but we must also develop a clearer profile of our road users at risk.”

Human behaviour is still the main contributing factor when it comes to road accidents.

Motlhaping said these accidents were mostly preventable, as weekends remained high-risk periods, with accidents occurring mostly between 22:00 and 04:00 from Friday until Monday.

“We can indicate that economic activities, such as the movement of goods, the delivery of services and labour migration patterns, influence the profile and density of road users, which has its own toll on human resources to patrol all areas at all times.”

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