Blaze Nzimande announces festive season road fatalities

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The festive season road crashes totaled 1 286 with the second highest number taking place in Gauteng.

The Minister of Transport Blade Nzimande released the statistics for road fatalities which occurred during December.

The preliminary Festive Season Road safety report covers all accidents between 1 December and 8 January. Nzimande revealed that during the festive season there were 1 286 crashes which resulted in 1 612 fatalities.

During the mid-season report on 22 December last year he said they noted the number of trucks and mini-bus taxis involved in accidents. It was in the mid-season report that it was revealed that fatalities had increased by 16 percent. However, Nzimande added that due to interventions focusing on removing overloaded trailers and increase law enforcement operations had helped reduce this by 7 percentage points.

“I want to look back over the past ten years and say comprehensively what is happening, what is it that we need to do. It just can’t be the usual story, we count bodies, we count people who have been injured. Year in and year out we repeat this as if we have accepted this is a normal situation, it is not a normal situation. I would like to see when we sit down what are the additional things we can do. This scourge can be defeated,” said Nzimande.

Crashes in Gauteng were the second highest nationwide while fatalities were third highest nationwide although Nzimande added that this was a commendable 19 percent decrease from last year. Nzimande added that the majority of the factors behind major crashes included human behavior and vehicle malfunction.

Nzimande highlighted that there was a drastic increase in the number of safety interventions over the festive season which included 775 roadblocks compared to 440 last year. Over 1.3 million vehicles were stopped and checked this year and 8 507 people were arrested during the festive season.