South Africa News

Northern and Western Cape see increases in festive season road deaths

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says a more relaxed lockdown this festive season was no excuse for a significant rise in road deaths.

Almost 1,700 people were killed in crashes, a 14% increase from the previous year.

Mbalula released the statistics on Tuesday morning.

Road deaths have increased in seven provinces and declined in two.

The Northern Cape and Western Cape recorded the highest percentage increases.

“It is disturbing to note that the Northern Cape recorded the highest increase of 97%, moving from 33 fatalities in the previous period to 65 in this period. The Western Cape recorded a massive 55.6% increase in the percentage of fatalities moving from 133 fatalities the previous period to 207 in this period. We need to get to the root cause of this drastic increase and address it in a decisive manner.”

Mbalula said this year there were more fatalities per crash.

“In 2020, the drop in the numbers was because of the lockdown and restrictions in terms of travelling. But we must be safe on the roads, regardless of whether we’re in a lockdown or not.”

The main causes of the road fatalities were jaywalking, speeding, wet or slippery road surfaces, and overtaking across barrier lines.

Driver fatalities increased slightly from 27% to 28%.

-EWN

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Qondanisa Sibisi and Samantha Mazibuko

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