Over 900 killed on SA roads so far

2011-12-27 14:49

Johannesburg - Over 900 people have died on South African roads since the beginning of December, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RMTC) said on Tuesday.

"The figures are going over the 900 mark and we are extremely concerned about head-on crashes. Out of the 16 major fatal crashes we have had since December 1st, 13 of them were head-on. These are the most devastating because the chances of survival are so low," said RTMC spokesperson Ashref Ismail.

On Monday, a head-on collision between a minibus taxi and car in the Free State claimed the lives of 19 people.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele called on traffic officers to confiscate the driver's licences of those arrested for road traffic violations.

"Drivers arrested for any offence must have their driving licences seized as well as suspended and/or cancelled," he said.

Ndebele said that his department, along with the justice and police ministries, would be "more aggressive" when dealing with irresponsible drivers.

Ismail said a full set of preliminary figures on road deaths would be issued on Wednesday.

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

  • Trevor - 2011-12-27 14:56

    *YYYaaaawn*...every year the same thing...every year the same political outcry and every

      Charl Donaldson - 2011-12-27 15:03


      Morakane - 2011-12-27 15:24

      Same message again in Easter...this song is getting old.

  • Bradley - 2011-12-27 15:03

    And only 18 in the whole of Australia.

      Juan - 2011-12-27 15:41

      Unbelievable, what is wrong with us??

      Walter - 2011-12-27 21:21

      I hope Francois does not read this or he will refer to the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as to the reason why the figure is that low... Anyway Australia, well done! But while even 18 being killed is too many, I am glad not more got hurt during the Season. And Mlungisi, get over it!

  • Rodney - 2011-12-27 15:03

    Blame the idiotic drivers, there is. No courtasy on our roads. The police cant be everywhere

  • Anthony - 2011-12-27 15:06

    taxi death count and counting, this will not stop

  • Deeteem - 2011-12-27 15:10

    That is more than 32 people/day and all the ANC want to talk about is the speed limit ??

      Richard - 2011-12-29 07:33

      (@Mlungisi) But our politicians are too useless to enforce the laws that we have! Therefore politics should not be left out of this. The problem should not only be aimed at the speed limit as Deeteem stated, maybe our government could perhaps consider, the state of our roads, the state of the cars (taxis) on our roads and the state and amount of unlicensed drivers. This may be the real killers. So of course it has something to do with the ANC, they should be enforcing the laws!

  • Leon - 2011-12-27 15:10

    All BS. Taking the number vehicles, the number of passengers and the distances traveled into account this is probably the safest time of the year to be on the road.

  • ReunionofIntelligentMinds - 2011-12-27 15:15

    Even only one death is one to many. We musn't look @ statistics and be relieved if a couple less have died over the same time frame. What about traffic officials, with the help of police if not enough manpower, to patrol smaller roads. Accidents doesn't occur only on highways. These days on South African roads one accident takes away many lives. Other parts of the world if this should happen it would be world news - here its all part and parcel of South Africa. Doesn't the government realise something is drastically wrong with their management? What about constant roadblocks anywhere to rid the road of people driving unroadworthy vehicles, unregistered vehicles, fake vehicle/ drivers licences, drunken driving, taxi overload, ignoring traffic/road signs, the list goes on and on.Once we are rid of corrupt traffic officials and them doing their work properly there will be less criminals taking chances and less accidents.

  • Comrade - 2011-12-27 15:18

    AND THE REAL FIGURE IS .........

  • Riaan - 2011-12-27 15:18

    Decreasing the speed limit will increase over taking? Just a thought...

  • Errol - 2011-12-27 15:19

    The horror(sadly) will continue,year in, and year out, because South Africa is a lawless society and, to add to THIS fact,our metro cops are super useless,fat,corrupt and ineffective!!!

      Irene - 2011-12-27 15:58


      John - 2011-12-27 19:33

      Spot on. Agree 100%

  • Steve - 2011-12-27 15:28

    So what ... according to DoT 14 000 peeople are killed each year which means the average monthly figure is 1166 ... anyone go an idea what the REAL anual road death toll is?

  • barry.mcbride - 2011-12-27 15:43

    “Approximately 800 people had died” by 2011-12-26 @ 17:57, but “Over 900 killed on SA roads so far” as of 2011-12-27 @ 14:49 i.e. In less than 21hrs, at least a hundred more people died on our roads, which is 5 fatalities an hour!

  • Lubabalo Sitole - 2011-12-27 15:44

    The Government must do somthing, course people are gonna keep on dying every year.

  • Lubabalo Sitole - 2011-12-27 15:44

    The Government must do somthing, course people are gonna keep on dying every year.

  • jaap.kotze - 2011-12-27 15:53

    Worse than war!

  • Deon - 2011-12-27 16:08

    Interesting call on the government to do something. Maybe you guys should take a good look at how badly the citizens are driving. Nobody gives a toss about the next person on the road.. Average behaviuor of road users indicate a total lack of respect for other road users as well as rules of the road. Commonsense is also absent. What is government suppose to do? Think for you while you drive? Everybody is trying their hand at driving like minibus taxis, where there is no road, make one; overtake anyway possible; ignore what used to be common courtesy. If people would get over themselves and start driving like they would like to see others drive, it might improve.

      vaughndumas - 2011-12-27 16:46

      Agree. It's not the government, it us. Simple stuff to do: 1. (Actually) stop behind the white line at a stop street. 2. Don't overtake on a blind rise, OR ON A WHITE LINE - anywhere. 3. Think for yourself, the guy in front and the guy behind you. 4. No talking on the cell while driving - even worse, no texting. 5. If a lane is for going straight, don't use it for turning left or right just because you don't want to stand in the queue. 6. Less rights, more responsibility. 7. Bring back "Daantjie Kat" for primary school children to teach them road rules. 8. Go AROUND the circles, not over them (where are those 4x4 drivers??). Follow the simple rules of the road, it can be done. Just try.

      Richard - 2011-12-29 07:47

      I agree with you Deon but theoretically stopping at the next stop street may end in disaster when the taxi with cardboard brakes slams into the back of you. Just saying that there are many more major concerns on our roads that need to be dealt with before the horrific deaths start declining.

  • Wayne - 2011-12-27 16:25

    Moving violations, moving violations and more moving violations. THIS is the cause of 99% of our challenge. Obviously DUI contributes too MV's as well. But ripping guys for defaulting on licence fee's, a slightly under the limit tyre, etc, are economics related and not related to MV's that are the real cause of the fatalities. 35 yrs ago there was a concerted effort to nail the guys that put a tyre over the solid white line, if caught the book was thrown. Start a project, where people will be paid discreetly for video footage of vehicle's broaching the solid white line. I'm sure the money paid out will be a drop in the ocean compared to the horrendous cost of all these deaths, and as a bonus stop this evil in it's tracks, and a means to nail the real culprits.

      Wayne - 2011-12-27 16:28

      The other project is to ban trucks to certain times in the holiday season. But oop's these figures are throughout the year.

      bernpm - 2011-12-27 21:30

      a few helicopters in the air would do wonders as they can direct mobile units to the wild drivers and apprehend them before the accident. But..that means that some fatties have to move instead of sitting behind the camera.

  • Andrew - 2011-12-27 16:34

    How do you confiscate a drivers licence if it does not exist? How many drivers do not have a licence and those that have are they valid? Get rid of corruption in driver test centres and maybe a lot less bad drivers will be on our roads.

  • SarelJBotha - 2011-12-27 16:39

    Not even a million fines will change reality on the roads. It never has and never will. Out of the box thinking is what is needed and that is not something the current regime can do.

  • Jaco - 2011-12-27 19:06

    Can we please have the statistics correctly as in who caused the most traffic accidents . Taxi's UN roadworthy cars and overloaded cars is the biggest problem . Cars overloaded and the untrained drivers who bought there licenses at the local flea markets . Reducing the speeds wont help , rather look at drunk driving and un roadworthy cars

      MikeLearview - 2011-12-27 19:33

      There may be several causes of traffic accidents, but nearly all of them would be reduced dramatically by effective policing. On any 25km journey, I regularly see several dangerous situations. And I'm sure most drivers do too. So how come the traffic cops, metro police & ordinary police don't manage to see them? And who told all the Sunday morning bikers that it's ok to drive at ridiculously fast speeds and not display a rear number plate? - it happens on the same roads every weekend.

  • Zebelon - 2011-12-27 21:01

    How far are we from the AARTO salvation - the authorities are dragging their feet. So far our driving lisences are safe from confiscation as a result of our appaling driving.

  • visko.vandermerwe - 2011-12-27 22:47

    I remember what it was like driving in SA.

  • mmmorrell - 2011-12-28 07:43

    in new zealand no passengers are allowed on the back of many died being in the back.ban passengers from the back.its a utility vehicle with no safety belts.

  • stephenandrew.malcolm - 2011-12-28 10:25

    South African drivers need to start adhering to road regulations and rules. Adhere to the speed limit, do not over take on solid lines and be more patient and considerate. Traffic officials need to police the roads and arrest those that do not drive safely.

  • Deon - 2011-12-28 11:39

    It is simple ; I was taught simple road rules when I was a child ( remember Daantjie Kat ?) At school was also a small course which we negotiated with little tricycles where we were taught. If I grew up travelling by minibus taxi who has no regard for any road rules, whats the chances that Im gonna drive like him? Then comes the speed at which travel, there is a huge speed difference in the same direction and people seem to forget what minimum highway speed is. This also leads to the keep left rule been totally forgotten that if there is space for you in the lane left of you, move over. Personally I gave up on using a car considering the morons which I share roads with.

  • Piet - 2011-12-28 14:44

    In "normal" times our road fatality rate is about 30/31 per day. Over the holiday periods (Passover and Christmas) that goes up "slightly" to about 34/35 per day. So at what figure between these two does it change from a "normal" situation, where nobody comments and really cares, to one where it is the annual "carnage on the roads" and "highway slaughter", where every news outlet in the country talks about it every few minutes.

      Jannie - 2011-12-28 15:38

      agreed its like the only time they report on these accidents is during this time, i had a buddy die a few months back in a MVA, and it did not even get the community newspaper attention, 16k dead a year, that 1300 deaths per month. our roads are the problem.

  • Jannie - 2011-12-28 15:33

    just another observation our death toll on the roads as a country is about 16000 a year not so? so why all the upheaval for december, 1100 have died... so the other 14900 died during the other 11 months of the year???

  • Jannie - 2011-12-28 15:35

    heres an idea. why dont you build roads that are safe? then you will see your deaths drop. Proven fact.

  • Jannie - 2011-12-28 15:35

    why is a racetrck safer than a public road? it was built with safety in mind.

  • alex.hempel - 2011-12-28 16:46

    I just drove from Johannesburg to Tzaneen and back. There was a lot of police on the road, and they pulled out a number of minibus taxis and clearly overloaded vehicles. A whole bunch of other vehicles had broken down at different places. Clearly there are too many unroadworthy and badly maintained vehicles on the road. But what's also on the road are too many reckless drivers. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the minibus taxis are limited to 100kph. Well, not a single one of the approximately 100 I saw during this trip was traveling below 120kph. With 10-20 passengers. On a side note, while I believe that something needs to be done, one would assume that the Transport Minister would know that it is illegal for cops to confiscate driver's licences... (

      Piet - 2011-12-28 19:20

      It would be nice to assume that the honourable minister should know this basic fact, but the clear evidence is that he doesn't. So I have to wonder what else the honourable minister doesn't know, that we assume that he does. Quite a lot I think.

  • Eben - 2011-12-29 14:27

    For years, the black pictures were drawn to the amount of people who die on the roads during the Easter weekend and over the Xmas period. "Over 900 have died since the beginning of December", which is about 30 per day. The fact that on any other ordinary day during the year, about 50-60 people die on the roads, without it becoming headline news, meaning that the death toll for this month, is about half of any other month during the year. Interested Reader.

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