39 killed on SA roads each day

2011-12-29 14:45

Johannesburg - Thirty-nine people have been killed each day on South Africa's roads between December 1 and 26, the Road Traffic Management Corporation said on Thursday.

A total of 1 023 people were killed over that period, in 853 crashes, spokesperson Ashref Ismail said.

"Given the high number of major fatal crashes recorded this festive season as a result of dangerous driving, traffic authorities around the country have been instructed to confiscate and provisionally suspend the driver's licences of any offender."

Ismail said authorities would show no mercy to those who drove recklessly and inconsiderately.

"Barrier line infringements, red-light jumping and drinking and driving will lead to an arrest and offenders will have their licences suspended."


On Monday, 19 people were killed when a minibus taxi and a car collided head-on on the R26 between Frankfort and Tweeling in the Free State. Both the car and the taxi caught fire, Free State police spokesperson Sergeant Mmako Mophiring said on Tuesday.

"Some of the people were burned beyond recognition after the impact. Four occupants from the car and 15 from the taxi died on the scene."

Seven people were taken to the Mafube District Hospital in Frankfort. Two critically injured people were taken to Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein.

"Major contributory factors to accidents remain speeds too high for circumstances, especially at night and during inclement weather, drinking and driving, drinking and walking and dangerous overtaking on barrier lines in the face of coming traffic," said Ismail.

Comparisons to previous years could not yet be done as all crash reports had not been captured.

On December 27 Limpopo traffic police arrested 53 drivers, including the driver of a Mini Cooper who was doing 214km/h in a 120km/h zone, Ismail said.

A total of 1 149 people were killed on South Africa's roads between December 1 and December 28 in 2010 and 1 304 during the same period in 2009.

The Justice Project SA on Wednesday said there was no legal basis for traffic police to confiscate the licences of traffic offenders on the spot, as Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele had threatened.

"I am not saying licences should not be confiscated or suspended for serious offences, there is a way to do so," the organisation's chairperson Howard Dembovsky said.

He said only the courts may revoke a licence.

  • Kate - 2011-12-29 15:04

    I feel that we are getting this crap rammed down our throats every day. Do yourself a favour RTM and sort this carnage out. The make of car does not cause the accident, but the idiots behind the wheel who has no respect for others. Start with the unroadworthy vehicles smoking up a storm or the ones that would never pass roadworthy, never mind transporting people. Spend 3 months at least doing a Taxi and bus blitz. Then let us see the stats drop.

      StarStruck - 2011-12-29 15:49

      I agree

      Sean - 2011-12-29 16:45

      Mmmmmmm..... I wonder why the taxis and busses all had to place those little yellow speed limit stickers on the back of the vehicles for??? The only taxi I've seen complying to this enforcement is a taxi involved in an accident.........!

      Squeegee - 2011-12-29 17:42

      Terrible to see so many die on our roads, however, the average daily death toll YEAR ROUND is 35 per day. Why so much hoopla at Christmas time? Targeting holidaymakers is not the answer. Taxis, drunk pedestrians and busses are about 85% of all deaths - start there.

      Robert - 2011-12-30 05:38

      I have seen so many things wrong on the road traveling wrt to wrong signing of the roads. I have driven to Natal, Maphumalanga, Cape where the road indicates you can pass and it is realy not safe to pass at all. So yes there are a lot of none road worthy vehicles but the authorites should seriously check how they sign the roads.

      John - 2011-12-30 19:54

      So when are they going to ARREST AND REMOVE the Blue Light Brigade? Friday, 09 of December, cars on the highway from Durban gave way to a political convoy with blue lights. Remembering 1 man killed by the Blue Light Brigade in Durban, and another in Jo'burg, I protested those murders and raised my finger as they drove past. They proceeded to block me and lunge their cars at me, as I swerved, slowed and pulled away. I held strong and steadfast in my protest! My family, however, were badly shaken. It is time that the ANC realizes that they are not above criticism and rejection, and also NOT ABOVE THE LAW! I expected the mentally challenged to zap me back, or even lay misdemeanor charges against me. But the public harassment and bullying shows that these mentals are in a mindset of their own. They need to be banished to Antarctica!

      samgaf - 2012-01-02 12:00

      When in an accident,the vehicle one is in determines the extent of injuries one sustains,period.Imagine being in a capsule on impact,the capsule can be made of paper,plastic or steel,you get to choose.Check crash tests of vehicles before you purchase a vehicle.Lots of vehicles should not even be allowed of production lines.Been in the motor industry for over 40 yrs???

  • Murray - 2011-12-29 15:05

    The death toll has remained almost the same as last year with the only difference being that taxi related deaths increased by 25%. This means that the rest of us have improved our driving attitude while taxi drivers have gone backwards. The only way to halt the bloodshed is to install speed limiters on all public transport vehicles. There is no need for a taxi or bus to travel at more than 100km/hour.

      Mr Kcopah - 2011-12-29 15:23

      best Idea ever!

      OzzyIn - 2011-12-29 15:29

      Maybe there are fewer cars on the road as a lot of people cannot afford to go away this year? Are speed limiters already installed on trucks and buses? No point installing them on taxis, they would just be by-passed.

      rowan.maulson - 2011-12-29 16:13

      Speed limiters as far as I knew were already installed on the new taxi's and they've just been removed... We need to be ALOT stricter with the taxi's. If they tamper with them and remove the limiter then the taxi should be confiscated on the spot and crushed. The owner should also then be charged. Yes the taxi drivers are the ones driving dangerously but they're almost forced to by the owners to meet quotas etc...

  • amos.mcinga - 2011-12-29 15:23

    Your calculations are incorrect; if you say 39 die every day, over 28 days, then the total is 1092.

      OzzyIn - 2011-12-29 15:40

      If you read the beginning of the article it says the stats are from December 1 to December 26, so 26 days not 28. so the figure is correct.

  • Atang - 2011-12-29 15:24

    ooh! that's a shocking statistics, 39 people per day, i have observed that most of south african roads are good, i wonder what the problem is.

      Heiku - 2011-12-29 15:35

      The hotheads behind the wheel.

  • kevin.patmore - 2011-12-29 15:31

    Traffic policing is a disaster and has been ever since they converted trsffic police to metro cops. In the suburbs no one stops at stop streets they race down the roads the metro police sleep in their cars and spend their days in shopping centre parking lots. the SA public has no discipline but worse yet the metor police are too lazy to do their job.

  • OzzyIn - 2011-12-29 15:35

    Too many problems around this. Unradworthy vehicles due corruption at Licensing Centres, Fake License, Police not enforcing traffic rules (rather taking bribes), people offering bribes to get out a situation quickly, overloading vehicles, etc. Then, there are the lenient fines. Let's start at R700 for not wearing a seatbelt and escalate up. In a lot of countries fines are doubled over holiday periods. What happened to the demerit point system? What is the use of taking away someone's license for 3 month's then it gets handed back to them? Make them re-test. Oh, then it is back to the corruption at the testing centre. And so the cirles completes.

  • Bles - 2011-12-29 15:39

    And how many die on other days? What is the average deaths on our roads per day over a year? Can somebody give these statistics. I believe there is just a moderate increase over festive seasons.

      Klaus - 2011-12-29 17:57

      Germany with 90 Million Residents has 4200 (Fourthousendtwohundred !) Road fatality's per annum and decreasing, also bear in mind Autum, Winter & Spring with bad road conditions, furthermore Germany being in the middle of Europe has a lot of North-South-East-West Traffic coming from neighboring countries

  • Hans - 2011-12-29 15:53

    This(±39 fatalaties) is happening each day of 365 days in the year, why the hype if their is no traffic law enforcement in the first instance.

  • Deeteem - 2011-12-29 15:56

    This is what happens when the rules of the road are not obeyed and enforced !! Fit whatever to any car/taxi/truck/bus, there is no accounting for being stupid !!

  • Mike - 2011-12-29 16:03

    Fit whatever you like to taxis etc. Brain transplants would be far more successful but a lot more expensive.

  • Lloyd - 2011-12-29 17:12

    the transport department is relying on our sense of good citizenship. It assumes we are are all good and therefore it does not need to police us.

  • Jabu Frans - 2011-12-29 19:03

    ok i hear da cops are beefn ,mara i ddn c cops on N4 nd R49 2 mafikeng.

  • Gary - 2011-12-29 19:24

    What about the 55 killed in murders every day. time to get priorities right here.

  • John - 2011-12-30 05:15

    kate, I agree

  • rodney.scholtz - 2011-12-30 07:41

    After more than 21000 hours of dedicated research in human behaviour I have learned that fatigue is the cause of 1 in 4 accidents. I presented this work to the DOT and RAF with my complete work mapped out on how to address fatigue and driver behaviour with an innovative intervention that is downloadable onto any WMA device including cellular phones for easy use. The long and short of it was, both institutions told me they had 'no funding' to drive these campaigns in spite of paying out nearly 50 times more per annum! Add to this the lack of competancy of Rev Vundla, and his PA and it is little wonder that nothing is about to change...Minister Sbu of the DOT is blissfully unaware that there are and have been solutions right under his nose availble for addressing these very serious costly issues draining budgets for three years already...This is the result of placing trust in incompetencies of the aforementioned, his so called "back up" team...dragging feet and keeping people out the door with racial undertones and beaurocracy is NOT the way forward...there are talkers and then there are those who walk their talk...After numerous direct attempts to assist the RAF and DOT in this regard I have to conclude that the DOT and RAF are drowning in a sess pool of incompetence and unwillingness to bring about change...yet; these people are being paid hefty salaries to deliver lipservice and threaten public with licence revoking as a result of their own lack in competency...

  • Greek - 2011-12-30 10:51


      Alva - 2011-12-30 18:46

      Good concept but soon Nigerians and the like will be producing fake stickers as they have been with fake licenses. At the end of the day, the RTM are still not doing enough.

  • elsa.vermeulen - 2012-01-01 11:59

    I took my family to the Balito beach last week. We found a small one-way street to park out vehicle. When we departed later, a taxi full of passengers came rushing down the one-way street, travelling in the wrong direction! We we lucky to see him in time. A metro police officer we at the end of this street and stopped the taxi. I rushed their and insisted that a ticket needs to be written. He did not really seem interested to do this, but on my request went to get his ticket book. I think this drivers licence should have been suspended. We have the laws in this country, but because it is not effectively executed, we end up with a country were tha man on the street is no longer safe! We as public will have to start standing up for our rights! It is our right to have a safe country to live in! We pay the taxes to have a police force and traffic department to enforce these laws! A traffic ticket is not enough punishment for recktless driving!

  • Serena - 2012-01-03 11:48

    The average monthly deaths on the road in 2008 and 2009 were around 1100 (excluding December) so why is it such a big thing when we pass the 1000 mark in December?

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