Festive season road death toll hits 1 475

2012-01-16 14:04

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.

  • Gcwabe-KaMavovo - 2012-01-16 14:13

    Ndebele and all his provincial MEC's should resign. The whole lot.

      VOVO247 - 2012-01-16 14:47

      And the fools who made the k53 system should be trialled for genocide & publically executed too.

      Sam - 2012-01-16 15:04

      I remember the one year when we had a massive decrease in deaths over a holiday period and the minister came out crowing about how successful his strategy had been. What he hadn't taken into account was that there was a truck driver's strike at the same time, meaning people could actually drive in the left hand lane and overtake in the right, as it should be. The result, safer roads. The minister was very quiet the next year when the death toll suddenly shot up again.

      rynhardt.ferreira - 2012-01-16 15:13

      They can do what they want to. Nothing will change until they do something about the taxis and the way they treat other road users and the law!!! The killing fest will continue until they address the correct culprits!!

      Willie - 2012-01-16 16:24

      Minister please take action,stop giving press conferences they are not helping .NOW you KNOW where is the problem

      Kala - 2012-01-16 17:03

      But it's not their fault. Its the fault of the... "unfriendly weather" Bad weather, bad bad bad weather!!!!

  • Sky - 2012-01-16 14:14

    Strange that there is no mention of bad roads in the country. Sbu is clueless and has no plans and/or strategy in place.

      procold2 - 2012-01-16 14:24

      sky that might be a small factor, mini buses that are not roadworthy and drivers are neglegent and overloaded are the main cause, i would like to see the vehicle involved stats, people cant buckle up when there are 30 passangers in a taxi.

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-01-17 10:15

      Before they try by other stupid means, to curb the deaths on S.A roads.. God Damnit admit you need to have all major routes repaired...not just fill pot holes either. And employ Taxi Police.. who will souly deal with the taxi industry..because, it's been said already... 90% of the accidents we saw on telly were taxi's.. when you add how many people they carry...if they crash...there's your reason for the high death toll.

  • Leandra - 2012-01-16 14:14

    Correction! Take the Minibus taxi's off the road, that's overloaded, and drive like maniacs!!!

  • warrick.guest - 2012-01-16 14:15

    Thins the heard ;)

  • Simon - 2012-01-16 14:16

    does not surprise me , when you phone the cops anyway to report a reckless driver , drunk , or dangerous situation , then they never come out. Last week `n reported a illegal act and up to now im waiting for them , so yeah , my condolences to the families , but its the forces fault as well , not only the people , you cant blame bad road conditions on the public , If I swerve out for a swimming pool in the road , sorry , pothole , I do intend to go into oncoming traffics lane , so yes , the government is also to blame

  • lebo.lathane - 2012-01-16 14:17

    Still unacceptably too high! Are we ever going to learn?

  • George - 2012-01-16 14:18

    So How did the taxi industry do

  • VOVO247 - 2012-01-16 14:18

    LOL, not funny but in a sense it is, you fools keep fighting speed & the rate will never drop as speed kills nobody!!! The problem sits with k53, which is the very system which places your life in danger by teaching drivers NOTHING about defensive driving or safely or evasive action (Apart from slamming brakes which at the wrong time will do far more damage than help). At least by monitoring speed limits, you just let them die slower, how nice of you to let people suffer. at 200 km/h & above at least you get to die rather quickly, and you don't get as tired meaning you are more alert over your shortened trip time, meaning you more likely to actually make it as opposed to falling asleep & killing your family & other road users creeping along at a pathetic 120km/h

      VOVO247 - 2012-01-16 14:44

      In Simple terms, speed limits should only exist in populated areas, not on any highways outside maybe those passing city centres. Slow drivers in the fast lane should be treated the same as those speeding next to schools So called advance driving courses should be a standard requirement, & the unrealistic, overly useless k53 should become a part of history somewhere under the same section as the rwanda genocide as the biggest killer or our times

      Colourless - 2012-01-16 15:25

      I so agree with you hating the K53, it is such drivel and encourages dangerous driving.

  • PaasHaas - 2012-01-16 14:22

    As long as traffic rules are not enforced by authorities more interested in enriching themselves this battle will NEVER be won. Drivers dont give a damn if they drive unroadworththy vehicles; sold lines are merely road decoration; and stop / go controls are something which only idiots obey - who cares, someone may attempt to extract a bribe but no-one will prosecute you, your licence (valid or not) is secure.

  • Piet - 2012-01-16 14:28

    Bye the way, how many speed fines did they issue? Sitting under bridges and behind bushes waiting for speedsters is not going to keep drunkards, overloaders, inconsiderate and reckless drivers, and non-roadworthy vehicles off our roads!

  • planetdonovan - 2012-01-16 14:30

    soon we will not be able to afford to use the roads, so the death toll is bound to decrease.

      VOVO247 - 2012-01-16 14:55

      No, it will just get closer to home as our kids are killed in neighbourhood streets as rush hour traffic literally comes to your street as with angry ppl trying to save on tolls move from the highways to the sideroads...

      planetdonovan - 2012-01-16 15:04

      you're right

  • Andres - 2012-01-16 14:30

    I think these should be the strategies to curb road deaths: 1. Taxi industry must be more closely monitored and all taxi drivers should have to take defensive driving courses. 2. Elimination of corruption at traffic departments; no more fraudulent license-holders. 3. Freight needs to be proactively moved from road to rail, as trucks are a huge problem in accidents and road-degradation. 4. Roads must be properly maintained. Poor condition, lack of lines and reflectors are dangerous contributing factors. 5. No tolerance for drunken driving. 6. Pedestrians must be educated. Often, those on foot have no regard for the rules of "looking left and right."

      Andres - 2012-01-16 14:31

      7. Forgot one: more stringent and better enforced road-worthiness standards.

      VOVO247 - 2012-01-16 14:40

      You dont get it... its not just about education, but what you teach... K53 is the problem, & whether you pass your licence, buy it or just drive without one, you basically have the same skills.... K53 needs to be scrapped, & a realistic system put in place that not just gives you theory, but actually teaches one to drive on the roads, alert them to the realities, enable them to foresee problems, & respond accordingly to situations. The stuff you learn in so called "advanced course" driving should actually be the norm & default, not option.

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-01-16 14:54

      Such a pity all your good advice here, goe's unheeded.. because the powers that be will never read these posts...maybe we stand a chance of things improving if they actually did read these things, and hear the words of the people. Clearly they don't have the mentality to admit and see the problems themselves.

      Gavin - 2012-01-16 14:57

      Defensive driving courses ?? Dude, they need to be taken off the roads entirely. Taxi's kill en mass. Make the passengers responsible by fining them if the driver overloads a taxi...

      Andres - 2012-01-16 15:04

      Unfortunately, as bad as minibus taxis can be, do you realistically believe they can simply be pulled off the roads? You have to give the taxi-industry as well as poor commuters another option... Solutions involve not banning things without alternatives. What is your alternative?

      VOVO247 - 2012-01-16 15:23

      @Gavin, ban the taxi's? um... ok, yes, destroy the second biggest employer in the country & take away 80% of the populations mode of transport? brilliant idea indeed.... You know the countries driving has gone to the dogs when taxis are now the last thing that annoys you on the roads.. far worse are the idiots who think they can drive like taxis & worse in their private cars. least the taxi gives you a gap & actually contributes something unlike these idiots. But yeah, reforms are really needed

      Colourless - 2012-01-16 15:26

      Uh, it is right, left and right again. ;)

      Hendrik - 2012-01-16 15:38

      What a wonderful thought Andres. If only half of those 6 points could happen in reality it would already make a tremendous difference. Wish the statistics would indicate the number of colissions in which either a truck and or a Taxi/bus is involved, and those that DO NOT involve one of those vehicle types. That I think would show where the efforts need to be concentrated. Sure a drunk tired party goer is NOT a good idea on the road but that I think makes up a very small % of the total problem.

      cliff.slabbert - 2012-01-16 16:13

      Andres, I would be very happy if you were to take over the position of Transport Minister.

  • stuart.bigmore - 2012-01-16 14:32


      planetdonovan - 2012-01-16 14:34

      more like 100% of the problem is caused by 0.001% of the drivers

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-01-16 14:49

      Agree, for sure an 80-20 situation.

  • frans.visserdsb - 2012-01-16 14:32

    This is stupidity bordering on criminality. Every year the focus on controlling speed becomes more obsessive, and every year more people die while the traffic authorities rake in speeding fines... how many accidents that kill people involve taxis, trucks bakkies, drunk drivers etc.? probably 90%... and these vehicles are NOT speeding. There are less accidents a year on the German Autobahn - where speed is unregulated - than on the M1 in a week. Yet it all gets blamed on speeding... i wonder why? maybe the drivers of big fast cars are more likely to be able to pay a fine than the driver of a dangerously unroadworthy vehicle?

  • NecroButcher - 2012-01-16 14:33

    Just about every accident that was reported or that made headlines had a minibus taxi involved too. Lose the taxi's, that will be a great start.

  • Thoka - 2012-01-16 14:36

    this make me look nice campaigns are not working, why wait for december to clamp down on unroadworthy cars when you sitting on your fat a*s for 11 months. Kamavovo you seconded, Like minister of sport said, people resign don't come with excuses for not perfoming.

  • MoAfrika - 2012-01-16 14:38

    1474 is HUGE number, why on earth is the word "at least" used??? how many MORE should die before we can say "A WHOLE LOT HAS DIED"?

      Gcwabe-KaMavovo - 2012-01-16 15:00

      Because others die weeks or even month later in hospital. So that quoted figure is the minimum number that they are sure about.

      MoAfrika - 2012-01-16 15:41

      thanks but even so, over a 100 is way lot. cant headlines emphasize on the capacity, and still exaggerate that more are in critical conditions; to really make people aware that this is not a joke. when saying "at least" its like we are saying its acceptable...

      Kala - 2012-01-16 17:01

      In any other country that number of deaths would be considered genocide. Not even Afghanistan can report that many deaths in 1 month and there's a war going on there.

  • Matthew Patrick - 2012-01-16 14:39

    Countless studies have shown that reducing the speed limit does not affect the accident rate! Fatigue, drunk driving, poor lighting and roadworthiness are the major caused.

  • Robsschele - 2012-01-16 14:41

    1 Dec to 10th Jan is 41 days multiplied by 40 per day is 1640. The current report fo this season is 1475 deaths. That seems to me as less than the average during the year. I get the impression that it's safer to travel over the festive season than during the year. Think of it. So many more people on the roads travelling long distances. Can we compare the kilometres travelled per death between the in season and out of season periods.

      dickon.jayes - 2012-01-16 14:51

      Spot on... this article is poorly written and researched. For it to have any meaning the journalist needs to compare Dec 2011 road deaths with dec 2010 road deaths are they up, down or what then compare the causes of the accidents if weather caused more accidents in 2011 then so be it, if it is down to drinking/unlicensed/reckless drivers then we have a nother story... Also, the stats should be compared with the average for Feb to Nov 2011 as well as Sep to Nov 2011... Then we would have a meaningful discussion wrt road safety and the festive season. Right now all we have is noise.

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-01-16 14:56

      Good math! Given the car-kilometers travelled, the figure is actually not so bad. In fact, to be totally objective, one should divide the no of deaths by the total number of kilometers driven ( no of cars x kilometers/car), and compare that on a year to year basis in order to be objective. Never mind, forget it...

      MagdaKus - 2012-01-16 15:47

      The other article that has 39 per day (if you read it) also refers to the December period (I did the same calculation- then thought I'd better check if it really is the average).

  • Johan - 2012-01-16 14:42

    Would like to see the stats on how many of these incidents taxis where involved in !!

  • Sallie - 2012-01-16 14:42

    The repercussions of fraudulent licenses obtained from corrupt traffic officials have produced its fruit. This will be still long with us. Wait until the real back lash of the current ANC regime incompetence is going to strike the RSA like a tsunami in the near future. It is going to have devastating effects which will make apartheid atrocities look like a kindergarten party

  • Dave - 2012-01-16 14:46

    if people can't drive then they will crash!!! people don't stop at robots and stop streets overtake on blind rises and basically drive like idiots. Most local speedcops sit behind the radar or sleep whilst the camera's do there thing. The general rules of the road are either not known or completely laughed off.

  • Sihle - 2012-01-16 14:46

    Strange that everybody and everything is to blame except the drivers.

      NecroButcher - 2012-01-16 15:10

      The taxi drivers? Drunk drivers? they all to blame

      MagdaKus - 2012-01-16 15:50

      Look- many of our pedestrians are poorly aware of rules of the road- or are knowingly ignoring them. Our Traffic Department does not provide enough pedestrian crossings either. I am a motorist a lot of the time- but have noticed in many places there are simply no pedestrian crossings.

  • Nico - 2012-01-16 14:52

    Unroadworthy taxis, overloaded bakkies to Botswana and Limpopo (and I'm talking about freight almost touching the overhead bridges), and not to mention the 50 passengers in each taxi. I bet that if you take the taxis and buses off the road, the figure will drop by more than 50%. O yes, and don't forget the poor condition of our roads managed by a corrupt goverment. And Blue Light Brigades pushing people off the roads and running kids over on motorcycles, don't forget about that !!! The goverment is to blame here, not the drivers on our roads !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Gavin - 2012-01-16 14:55

    The non-wearing of seat belts....what the f ? Step 1, fire Sbu and his entire reporting line. Step 2, force taxi's to reapply for roadworthy cert's every 2 years Step 3 come up with a more efficient and cost effective public transport system - if this doesn't work - cancel Christmas.

  • darryl.maze1 - 2012-01-16 15:00

    I'm sorry but the main cause of most of those deaths were from overloaded taxis and they not even mentioned in here???? Yes reckless and inconsiderate driving, and abuse of alcohol by drivers and pedestrians are causes of some of these accidents but most of the time you heard more about taxi accidents. So please tell me why the minister does not mention them???? The minister and all his idiots must be fired cause they have done nothing to bring this death rate down on our roads. This arrive alive campaigne is a failure and until they get some one to do the job properly and start hitting these taxi bosses and drivers hard they might as well cancel the campaign

  • Koos - 2012-01-16 15:00

    and mm.... how many was due to Taxi's.....?

  • Deon - 2012-01-16 15:01

    I wonder what percentage were taxis invloved

  • Sky - 2012-01-16 15:01

    Bad drivers, bad roads and the taxi industry with their own set of rules and laws (they basically own the roads) and they hold this pathetic government at ransom, they always threaten to block the highways when they are called to order, so we have a hapless law enforcement and a taxi industry that's out for the kill.

  • Rince - 2012-01-16 15:01

    Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele seems to be stating the obvious. When most road users cannot even obey the basic rules of the road, how can you expect to decrease the number of road deaths? Lets face it, South Africans (All of you, not just the taxi drivers) think they are not to blame, someone else is. Having worked as a paramedic in Jhb, Pretoria and Cape Town I can say that you all should go back to driving school and refresh your skills. Speed, recklessness, alcohol and pure arrogance is the cause of the problems and until you learn to slow down, be polite, stop drinking and driving (and yes, even one beer counts as drinking and driving) you will keep killing each other on the roads. Try looking inwards for once and seeing that it is you to blame and not the bad roads, poor policing, or whatever else it is you want to blame.

  • comurray - 2012-01-16 15:10

    Can somebody please tell us how many more cars were on the roads as compared to last years stats and how many newly licenced drivers as well. Newly licenced drivers are let loose on national highways travelling great distances at break neck speeds with no road sense what so ever. The statistics should be calculated from schools closing to re opening dates, not from 1st December.

  • Jacqui - 2012-01-16 15:14

    The taxi manufacturers need to stop making taxis that can go too fast; licences should be summarily suspended for speeding, drinking and driving. We need to get tough.

  • Tom - 2012-01-16 15:52

    Solution is simple but the minister doesn't want to take action as he is probably being paid by the taxi industry to keep his mouth and cops from the taxis thats why nothing has been done. Take away the unroadworthy taxis and trucks and drunken drivers and SA will be a far safer to drive in.

  • Thys Louw - 2012-01-16 15:57

    Sad thing is I have been in Australia this December , came back 10 th of January , they have much more cars than us on the roads , no minibus taxis and their total deaths for the season was only 38 !

  • deborah.airey - 2012-01-16 16:25

    Cannot remember the last time I saw someone pulled over for not wearing a safety belt. Just the basics!! Never mind the mum with her baby on he lap in the front seat with no safety belt. Just the basics!! See it in the heart of Sandton CBD all the time. I can lose my Shi*!!It always boils down to adhering to the law - we are just a bunch of rebels!!

  • Gail - 2012-01-16 18:15

    As horrific as these figures are, it would be worth knowing the number of seriously injured who were lost to the workforce and also may be permanently disabled. The cost to the economy of these people is also extremely costly economically both from a medical cost perspective but also from a skills perspective. Years of education and experience are lost sometimes forever to the skilled and unskilled market and end up on the debit side requiring constant care from an already depleted medical system.

  • Wilma - 2012-01-16 19:07

    Agree with Vovo.K53 is crap.And get rid of speed cameras and concentrate on roadsafety instead.

  • Kevin - 2012-01-17 08:43

    Hi from Australia. Just thought I'd post this for your info ..... 49 road deaths in Aussie over the same period. Not sure how they are collected and how they are compared but it is quite a difference:

  • SeeVeeDeeEl - 2012-01-17 08:46

    This mindless fool will probably try and rectify the situation by introducing new laws. As usual, for the ANC. When they battle to govern, they write a new law.

  • Rob - 2012-01-17 09:26

    ACCIDENTS????? Are you serious, were all these people killed by accident? NO,NO, NO! Somebody was to blame, and until that somebody is exposed this senseless loss of life will not be reduced. What I am saying is that for every incident there is a cause, and to think about these incidents as ACCIDENTS is not helping, could even be subconciously reducing the impact.

  • Martin - 2012-01-17 12:14

    We need to start with banning alcohol advertising. Eventually we should ban alcohol altogether. Then see the statistics drop !

      Rob - 2012-01-17 13:21

      Martin: Maybe you are on the right track, but also consider prescription and non-prescription substances that are known to sometimes impair driving some degree. Can of worms; I think that the solution lies with individual accountability - know that you are antisocial if you are aware that your ability may be impaired but you drive. Comes down to awareness, and taking responsibility for your actions...tough call, bring on the mind police next!

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