Festive season road death toll at 1755
A total of 1755 people perished on South Africa's roads during the festive season‚ an 11% increase from the 2014 figure of 1535 fatalities‚ Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said in Pretoria on Tuesday.
The Eastern Cape province accounted for the majority of the fatalities at 17.1%‚ followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 17%‚ Gauteng 15.1%‚ Limpopo 12%‚ Free State 9.9%‚ Western Cape 9.3%‚ Mpumalanga 8.5%‚ North West 7.5% and Northern Cape at 3.6%.
Small motor vehicles accounted for 47.9% of total crashes during the festive season‚ light delivery vehicles at 22.7%‚ minibuses 10.1% and trucks contributed 4.8%.
The majority of people who died were passengers at 38.3%‚ followed by pedestrians at 34.9%‚ drivers accounted for 23.9% of the deaths and cyclists at 2.8%.
The age group most affected for drivers as well as passengers and pedestrians between 25 to 39 accounting for about 47‚9% for drivers‚ passengers 38.5% and pedestrians 34.3% of the fatalities respectively.
Children aged between 0 and 4 years contributed to 10.4% of pedestrian deaths.
The gender most affected was males with a contribution of 74.4% to the total fatalities. Females contributed 25.2% of the fatalities.
The minister said that of the total number of deaths 81.4% was apportioned to black people.
She said “weekends continue unabated to pose a major challenge as ably demonstrated by the recent festive season reality”.
The highest number of fatal crashes were recorded on Saturdays at a percentage contribution of 22.2% of the total‚ followed by Fridays and Sundays with 18.8% and 16.9% respectively.
Peters said in the period between 2005 and 2009 the country experienced a small 0.52% cumulative annual drop in the number of road fatalities.
She said this accelerated to 1.88% annual decrease in the period 2010 to 2014.
“Despite this reduction we remain steadfastly concerned as one death is one too many‚” she said.
She said registered vehicles had increased by a further 340000 at the start of December last year with 508054 new drivers licence issued.
– TMG Digital/The Times