2021 festive season road statistics released
South African Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula released the 2021 festive season period statistics with a total of 1 685 fatalities recorded. The figure was a 14 percent increase from the 2020 period. Releasing the statistics on Tuesday, the Minister said the Eastern Cape recorded the largest decline in road accident deaths. Between 1 December 2021 and 11 January 2022, Minister Mbalula said the province recorded a reduction of 7,9 percent or 210 fatalities compared to the same period last year, when 228 fatalities were recorded.
Hot on its heels was KwaZulu-Natal, with a significant 6,5 percent fatality decline. The province recorded 275 fatalities as compared to 294 in the same period last year.
The Minister said it was disturbing to note that the Northern Cape had recorded the highest increase. The province’s road crash death recorded a 97 percent increase from the corresponding period. While the province recorded 33 deaths in the 2020 festive season, 65 fatalities were recorded in the 2021 festive season.
The Western Cape equally recorded a 55,6 percent increase in the percentage of fatalities moving from 133 fatalities the previous period to 207 in this period.
North-West recorded a 25,3 percent increase moving from 95 fatalities in the previous period to 119 in this period.
Mpumalanga recorded an increase of 24,3 percent moving from 152 fatalities in the previous period to 189 in this period.
Limpopo recorded a 16,5 percent increase moving from 194 deaths in the previous period to 226 in the 2021 period.
Gauteng recorded a 15,5 percent increase, moving from 238 fatalities in the previous period to 275 between December 2021 and January 2022 period.
Free State recorded the lowest increase of 7,2 percent, recording eight more deaths from the previous 119.
The Minister said it was “alarming” that there had been more fatalities per crash in the 2021 festive season in comparison to previous periods. “This resulted in high passenger fatalities this year compared to the previous period. Passenger fatalities constituted 38 percent in the current period compared to the previous 32 percent. Pedestrian fatalities significantly decreased from 41 percent previously to 31 percent in the current reporting period,” he said.
In the 2021 festive season period, driver fatalities increased by one percent from the previous year’s 27 percent. “The figures indicate that many vehicles involved in fatal crashes had a high number of occupants and most crashes occurred between 17h00 and 19h00, particularly on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”
The statistics reveal that light motor cars contributed 49 percent to the total crashes followed by light delivery vehicles at 17 percent. Minibus vehicles contributed eight percent and trucks accounted for six percent.
He added, “Over this past festive season, we saw some of the most heart-wrenching crashes claiming many lives in a single crash. On 12 January, a head-on collision claimed 17 lives and injured 8eight on the N1 near Mookgophong (Naboomspruit) in Limpopo. The bus driver lost his life along with the passengers due to the bus catching fire that entrapped them inside immediately after impact. In another crash in Mpumalanga, which claimed the life of Emalahleni Municipality Mayor, three people died. We have seen a total of 34 major crashes, accounting for 223 fatalities. This is in contrast with the 13 major crashes responsible for 72 fatalities.”
Minister Mbalula urged the taxi and freight industries to “do more to reduce the number of crashes caused by their vehicles as they contributed higher fatalities per crash compared to other vehicles”.
“A fragmented system that fails to recognise the importance of a system grounded on national norms and standards in order to maximise its effectiveness will only result in chaos and serve as a perverse incentive for unlawful behaviour. This principle is evident in all our laws that regulate road traffic matter in the country, with the primary legislation regulating road traffic being the National Road Traffic Act of 1996. This law is further bolstered by the Road Traffic Management Act of 1998, which establishes an institutional arrangement that recognises the executive authority of Provinces and municipalities. The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offence provides an adjudication system for infringements of the rules of the road determined by the National Road Traffic Act. AARTO is the final piece of the puzzle in the implementation of a new road traffic management system by the democratic state. The importance of AARTO in driving behaviour change of motorist and providing disincentives for unbecoming conduct cannot be overemphasised.”
“It is for these reasons that we have decided to appeal the ruling of the Pretoria High Court declaring the AARTO Act unconstitutional and invalid. As we continue to use legislative instruments to strengthen the road traffic regulatory framework, Parliament is currently seized with the proposed amendments to the National Road Traffic Act, to reduce the permissible alcohol limit for motorists. We believe this is an important element in our efforts to arrest the scourge of fatalities on our roads.”
“We have, with the publication of the 2022 RTMC Regulations on 14 January 2022, taken the first step towards implementing measures to curb lawlessness on our roads. The Regulations amongst others, introduce online services to the public, for booking for learner’s license tests, renewal of Drivers Licenses, motor vehicle registration and licensing as well as online vehicle licence renewals. This will aid in addressing the corruption associated with the issuing of these licenses and or rendering of the services.”
Source: Department of Transport
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