Easter holiday road death toll drops by almost half
Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has attributed the 46% reduction in Easter road deaths to the high visibility of traffic authorities and a willingness to obey the rules of the road.
The preliminary report‚ released by the minister in Pretoria on Tuesday‚ shows that there were 156 road accident deaths this Easter compared to 287 during the same period last year.
With the exception of the Northern Cape‚ which recorded the same number of fatalities as last year‚ all provinces recorded a decrease in fatalities.
The North-West recorded the highest decrease - 71% - with the number of deaths dropping from 28 to eight.
According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC)‚ the main causes of the fatal crashes were fatigue‚ drunken and reckless driving‚ as well as pedestrians knock-downs.
Peters said the sharp decline was achieved despite a 3%increase in the number of registered vehicles in the country.
The total number of registered vehicles stood at 11.7-million in February.
“We commend the traffic law enforcement officers who maintained high levels of visibility on the roads throughout the Easter period‚” she said.
The minister‚ however‚ said she abhorred‚ in the strongest terms‚ those in uniform who were caught soliciting bribes and issuing fraudulent drivers licences.
She said two traffic officers were arrested in Gauteng and Limpopo on allegations of attempting to get bribes.
The minister said she wanted to see more results from the RTMC’s anti-corruption unit in dealing with corruption and fraud committed at Driver Learner Testing Centres.
Peters said they have identified rotten centres which would be dealt with. – TMG Digital/The Times