SA records fewer road deaths this Easter weekend compared to 2019
Preliminary figures released on Thursday show there were 189 crashes resulting in 235 deaths recorded during the Easter weekend.
Releasing these figures, transport minister Fikile Mbalula said this was a reduction compared to the death toll recorded in 2019, when there were 193 crashes resulting in 260 deaths.
The department did not take the 2020 numbers into consideration because there was a hard lockdown which restricted interprovincial travel and movement between districts.
“This means that we have made headway in reducing the number of crashes in general and fatalities in particular. The number of crashes has been reduced by 2.1% while fatalities came down by 9.6%," Mbalula said.
This was despite the fact that there was growth in both the population in general and the vehicle population in particular.
The minister gave the following breakdown of crashes and fatalities per province:
- the Eastern Cape recorded 22 crashes and 27 fatalities;
- the Free State had eight crashes and 13 fatalities;
- Gauteng had 30 crashes and 36 fatalities;
- KwaZulu-Natal recorded 42 crashes and 54 deaths;
- Limpopo had 27 crashes and 34 fatalities;
- Mpumalanga recorded 15 crashes and 18 deaths;
- the Northern Cape recorded six crashes and seven deaths;
- the North West recorded 15 crashes and 20 deaths; and
- the Western Cape recorded 24 crashes with 26 fatalities.
He said pedestrian fatalities increased from 30% to 35% of all fatalities.
“We have observed that about 6% of pedestrian fatal crashes occurred between midnight and 2am, when people were moving around in violation of the Covid-19 curfew.”
Mbalula said the relative success in reducing deaths could be attributed to early preparation with education and awareness campaigns in communities and increased visibility of law enforcement officers.
He said there were 336 roadblocks conducted this Easter weekend, where:
- 178,053 vehicles were stopped and checked;
- 32,070 traffic fines were issued;
- 823 vehicles were discontinued; and
- 782 vehicles were impounded.
Numerous arrests were made, he said:
- 438 motorists were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol;
- 112 motorists were arrested for excessive speeding;
- 28 motorists were arrested for inconsiderate, reckless and negligent driving;
- two law enforcement officers — a traffic officer and a police captain — were arrested for bribery and corruption.
“The high number of vehicles discontinued, drunken driving and speeding arrests made reflect the success of the use of technology to improve traffic policing.”