Best wishes for Ramadan to all our Muslim readers
We wish all our Muslim readers a Blessed and virtuous Ramadan. May the month of Ramadan bring bliss with hearts filled with peace, harmony and joy. May this be a time of deep spiritual reflection, self-improvement, devotion and worship for you and your family as you observe this holy month of fasting and abstinence. We urge all to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols including maximum pax at gatherings, social distancing, wearing a mask covering both nose and mouth and frequent sanitising/washing hands.
Easter road death toll drops 9,6 percent
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has announced that 235 people died on SA’s roads over the recent Easter long-weekend, resulting from 189 crashes. This was a 9,6 percent reduction from the 260 fatalities recorded over Easter 2019 and a 2,1 percent reduction from the 193 crashes. The 2020 figures weren’t taken into consideration due to it being an abnormal period when the hard lockdown restricted inter-provincial travel and movement between districts, he said.
Releasing the 2021 Easter Arrive Alive safety statistics at the N1 South Grasmere toll plaza on Thursday, 8 April 2021, Mbalula said the Northern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and North West recorded increases in fatalities, while declines were in recorded in the other five provinces.
Passenger fatalities declined from 38 percent to 34 percent as there were no major crashes involving five or more deaths in a single incident. Deaths among motor vehicle drivers and cyclists remained unchanged at about 30 percent and one percent, respectively.
“The figures for this past long-weekend indicate that our efforts in law enforcement are yielding some positive results. They also demonstrate that our messages are reaching the target audience and that the majority of road users are heeding our call to make road safety their personal responsibility,” said Mbalula.
He said it was concerning that pedestrian fatalities increased from 30 percent to 35 percent compared to 2019. About six percent of pedestrian fatal crashes occurred between midnight and 2am when people were moving around in violation of the COVID-19 curfew.
“Road crashes affect the poor and vulnerable more than any other group in society. It is this class of people we generally find walking on the freeways in an attempt to access opportunities that are not available in their residential areas,” he said.
Preliminary figures show there was an increase in traffic volumes along major arterial routes leading out of Gauteng and back. The N1 north to Limpopo, the N3 towards KwaZulu-Natal and the N4 towards Mpumalanga were particularly busy. This was despite the Easter weekend not overlapping with school holidays and religious pilgrimages to major churches that attract masses of people, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“Our relative success can be attributed to early preparation with education and awareness campaigns in communities, increased visibility of law enforcement officers, stakeholder involvement and a high-profile media campaign.”
He said 336 roadblocks were conducted this Easter, with 178 053 vehicles stopped and checked. There were 32 070 traffic fines issued, 823 vehicles were discontinued and 782 impounded.
Other statistics included 438 motorists arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol; 112 motorists arrested for excessive speeding; 28 motorists arrested for inconsiderate driving; and two law enforcement officers, a traffic officer and a police captain, arrested for bribery and corruption.
COVID-19 Resources page
The FRI COVID-19 Resources page is updated regularly for the benefit of our readers, providing you with all relevant information available on a single platform, saving you the time of searching for documents and links.
New in the folder this week:
Minister of Health, Dr Zwelini Mkhize’s Statement on the FDA Advisory on J&J 13 April 2021
Quote of the week
“I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” ~ Christopher Reeve
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