51 percent increase in Easter road deaths

11:33 (GMT+2) Fri, 21 Apr 2017

TSHWANE, April 21 (ANA) – More than 230 people were killed on South African roads during the recent Easter period, with the overall fatalities figure ballooning by 51 percent compared to same period last year, Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi revealed on Friday.

“In total, the number of fatalities increased by 79 (51 percent) from 156 over the same period the previous year to 235 this year. However, this year’s fatalities are still significantly lower than the 333 fatalities recorded in 2015,” Maswanganyi addressed a media briefing in Pretoria.

“Our preliminary report shows that many people who died on our roads were victims of hit and run incidents, jaywalking or motorists who were driving at speeds that were too high for circumstances.”

He said the report also revealed a new pattern in which crashes shifted from the identified historical hotspots into new routes and build-up areas on time periods that previously did not have high number of crashes.

“Very glaringly, most crashes and fatalities happened in residential areas and remote areas and very interestingly from 23H00 midnight until 05H00 in the morning. This new phenomenon requires of us to spread our wings jointly informed by uniform working norms and standards,” said Maswanganyi.

“Our statistics show that fatalities increased in all provinces with exception of Free State.”

The Easter period saw a remarkable increase in the number of vehicles on the roads across the country.

“The total number of registered vehicles on the 31st of March stood at 12,047,404 compared to 11,818,124 in the same period of 2016. The number of registered drivers had increased by 507 002 presenting a new total of 12,283,777,” said Maswanganyi.

“A total of 174,253 vehicles were stopped and checked with the intention to remove unroadworthy vehicles from our roads in all provinces.”

– African News Agency (ANA)