Eastern Cape festive road deaths decrease by 1.3%

CRASH SCENE: This fatal accident on the R67 between Whittlesea and Komani in December last year was one of many recorded in the Eastern Cape this past festive season. Transport minister Fikile Mbalula released the festive season road traffic statistics earlier today Picture: LUVUYO MJEKULA

The Eastern Cape recorded 228 road fatalities this past festive season compared to 231 the previous period, a 1.3% decline.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula released the numbers earlier today on the N12, Eldorado Park pedestrian bridge. The festive season period covers the six weeks from December 1, 2020 to January 11, 2021.
Mbalula announced that deaths on South Africa’s roads decreased by 7%. “Although we have recorded a decline in fatalities in eight of the nine provinces, we fell short in achieving our ambitious 20% target that we set for the festive season. Overall we recorded a total 1 448 fatalities from 1 210 fatal crashes – this represents a 7% decline in fatalities and 10.3% in fatal crashes year after year.
“We are encouraged that the reductions make a positive contribution towards the realization of our target of reducing fatalities on our roads,” Mbalula said.
The main cause of crashes has been attributed to jaywalking, hit-and-run incidents, speeding, overtaking into oncoming traffic, wet and slippery surfaces and tyre bursts.
“More than half (54.3%) of the fatal crashes occurred on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, suggesting that the majority of crashes took place within residential areas long after travellers had reached their destinations,” Mbalula said.
The minister said 34.1% of crashes happened during the curfew, between midnight and 6am in the morning.
“There was a notable decline of 4.9% in the number of pedestrians who died on the roads compared to the previous year.
“However, driver fatalities increased from 24.2% to 26.9%, passenger fatalities increased from 32.2% to 34.5% while cyclist fatalities stood at one percent,” the minister said.
Minibus vehicles accounted for 8.2% of fatal crashes compared to 11.1% in the previous year.
Of the nine provinces, Mpumalanga is the only one with an increase in road deaths.
Breakdown of fatalities per province:
Mpumalanga – 141 fatalities compared to 135 in 2019/20, an increase of 4.4%
Western Cape – recorded 132 fatalities compared to 157, a decline of 15.9%
KZN – 289 fatalities compared to 336 in 2019/20, a decline of 14%
Limpopo – 188 compared 205 in 2019/20, a decline of 8.3%
Northern Cape – 36 fatalities compared to 39 in 2019/20, a decline of 7.7%
Gauteng – 231 fatalities compared to 249 in 2019/20, a decline 7.2%
North West – 99 fatalities compared to 101 in 2019/20, a decline of 2%
Eastern Cape – 228 fatalities compared to 231 in 2019/20, a decline of 1.3%
Free State – 107 fatalities compared to 108 in 2019/20, a decline of 0.9%
Roads that accounted for the highest number of crashes and fatalities were the N3 near Harrismith in KZN, N2 near Idutywa in Eastern Cape, the N1 near Modimolle in Limpopo, R37 in Limpopo and the N12 near Potchefstroom in North West.
“It is worth noting that the R71 near Mankweng has dropped from number one to nine, pointing to the success of the road safety campaign in Limpopo. The R573 better known as Moloto Road, notorious for road crashes and fatalities does not appear in the top 20 of hazardous roads this year.”
The minister lamented the deaths of two law enforcement officers. Inspector Tefo Motaung from the Free State died after he was knocked down by a minibus while on duty on the N3 while Raymond Masango, a co-coordinator at the Road Traffic Management Corporation also died in a horrific multi-vehicle crash on the N3 near Harrismith.
During the period under review, 518 traffic officers tested positive for Covid-19 and had to be isolated, while 33 officers passed away.
Mbalula extended condolences to families and friends of all those who died and speedy recovery to the injured.

Additional information: www.sanews.gov.za

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