Almost 800 dead on SA roads in just 18 days

20 December 2018 - 14:21 By Alex Patrick
The wreckage of a minibus taxi which crashed on the N2 at Canelands, KwaZulu-Natal, on December 8, killing 13 people . A total of 767 people have died on the road between December 1 to December 18.
The wreckage of a minibus taxi which crashed on the N2 at Canelands, KwaZulu-Natal, on December 8, killing 13 people . A total of 767 people have died on the road between December 1 to December 18.
Image: Supplied

There have been 767 fatalities on SA roads in just 18 days.

Transport minister Blade Nzimande on Thursday released the annual mid-festive season preliminary road-safety report in Pretoria. The report looked at statistics involving road users from December 1 2018 — December 18 2108.

According to the report, KwaZulu-Natal had the most deaths (162) followed by Gauteng (125). Limpopo and Eastern Cape had 89 fatalities each, while Mpumalanga had 82, the Western Cape 81, the Free State 78, the North West 57 and the Northern Cape 24.

The minister noted that although the Northern Cape had the fewest road deaths, the province had the highest percentage increase of 71%, followed by Free State with 53% and KwaZulu-Natal with 46%.

A total of 34 minibus vehicles have been involved in fatal collisions since the start of the festive season, while 44 trucks were involved in deadly collisions.

"I have been extremely concerned about the high number of public and freight transport vehicles involved in fatal crashes so far in the festive season. When these vehicles get involved in crashes, the number of fatalities increases phenomenally," Nzimande said.

The minister said the vehicles were involved in single-vehicle overturning, head-on and head-to-rear collisions — which he said suggested that drivers were unable to control the vehicles due to fatigue and the vehicles veered on to oncoming traffic, or they were unable to stop the vehicles in time because of high speed.

Most crashes took place on a Saturday, Sunday and Monday between 7pm and 8pm and between 10pm and 11pm.

There were 356 roadblocks conducted throughout the country during this period and 326,642 fines were issued.

These included:

  • 10,666 fines for drivers who did not have a driving licence;
  • 9,620 for drivers who did not fasten their seatbelts;
  • 8,481 for driving unlicensed vehicles;
  • 5,811 for driving vehicles with worn tyres; and
  • 3,039 for overloading.

About 1,402 unroadworthy vehicles were suspended or discontinued while 1,310 other motor vehicles were impounded.

The police arrested 1,109 drivers for drunken driving and five people were arrested for driving at excessive speeds of between 189km/h to well over 200km/h.

The highest speedster was arrested in the Free State travelling at 228km/h on the N3 near Warden.


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