Minibus and bicycle deaths

According to the South African Institute of Race Relations, minibus taxi deaths are as frequent as accidents and deaths involving cyclists.

For every road death in which a minibus taxi was involved, there were 21 road deaths that involved motor cars. This put deaths from minibus taxi road accidents at almost as few as those of being run over while riding a bicycle – 2% of all road deaths in a year – according to latest South Africa Survey, to be published next week.

Road Traffic Management Corporation figures show that of the 15 604 road accident deaths that occurred in 2009, motor cars were involved in 47%, light delivery vehicles (LDVs) and bakkies in 19%, trucks and other unspecified vehicles in 9% each, and minibuses not used for public transport in 7%. Minibus taxis, buses, motorcycles and bicycles accounted for 2% each.

However, the minibus taxi death rate, at 27 deaths per 10 000 vehicles, was was three times higher than the 9 deaths per 10 000 for motor cars in 2009.

Some 63% of the 8.6 million registered motorised vehicles that year were motor cars, 22% were LDVs and bakkies, 4% were trucks, 3% were minibuses, and just under 1% were buses. An estimated 130 000 of the 283 000 minibuses were used as public transport to ferry 2.5 million people a day.

The Institute said the vehicle numbers may explain the relatively higher incidence of motor car accidents. Furthermore, 23% of all fatal crashes occurred between 18:00 and 21:00, and 60% occurred between Friday and Sunday, times at which most public transport is least active.

‘Research also showed that 59% of drivers killed in road accidents were under the influence of alcohol,’ said Mr Kerwin Lebone of the Institute’s research department.

(SAIRR, Press release, January 2012)

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