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Slight decline in FS road fatalities

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A fatal accident near Verkeerdevlei in which 13 people died
A fatal accident near Verkeerdevlei in which 13 people died

The Free State recorded a slight decline in road fatalities this recent festive season from 1 December to 7 January. The MEC for Police, Roads and Transport William Bulwane confirmed the province recorded 117 fatalities, yesterday - 18 January.

This translate to a 1,7% decline in fatalities. The previous year’s fatalities stood at 119.

Bulwane has lamented the lives lost on the roads despite a decline during this year’s festive season.

“The demise of 117 people is a huge loss. I would like to send my condolences to those who have lost their loved ones during this period,” he said.

Of the road crashes in the province, 16 people were killed in separate accidents on the N1 near Verkeerdevlei Plaza and the N6, on 12 and 23 December.

The accident on the N1 claimed the lives of 11 people. It involved a truck and a taxi on the N1 road, 20 km before the Verkeerdevlei Toll Plaza. The accident on the N6 in which six people were killed, had 11 survive with injuries. The crash near Reddersburg in the direction of Bloemfontein involved two minibus taxis which collided head-on.

Bulwane attributes the province’s slight decline in road fatalities to effective festive road safety campaigns.

This included joint roadblocks conducted by the police, the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA), and the Road Accident Fund (RAF) as well as SA Brewery (SAB).

Presenting statistics for the festive period on Tuesday, the minister for transport, Fikile Mbalula, pointed out that most of the accidents were mainly due to human error. He said human error accounted for 87% of all crashes, followed by road and environmental factors at 8% and vehicle factors at 5%.

Mbalula says that during the period from 1 December 2022 to 11 January 2023, 1 451 people lost their lives on South Africa’s roads. This is a 13.9% reduction in fatalities compared to the previous period (1 685).

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