Every year, thousands of lives are lost in South Africa as a result of road accidents. Sadly, for the 2018/2019 festive period, which is the period between 01 December 2018 to 08 January 2019, the number of road fatalities recorded are 1612. These statistics were announced by the Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande, on 16 January 2019. These statistics have further derailed the country from achieving its “decade of action” target, which is aimed at reducing the number of road fatalities by half.
A breakdown of the report highlighted that 90% of the road crashes experienced during the period were caused by human factors. Some of these human factors are:
- Drunk driving - Reported to still be a huge problem with the World Health Organisation report stating that 58% of road traffic deaths in South Africa involve alcohol.
- Failure to wear seat belts - Where the seat-belt wearing rate was reported to be as low as 38% for drivers and 31% for front seated passengers.
- Distracted driving - Which is hugely influenced using cell phones when driving.
- Non-compliance to the road laws - Highlighted by reckless and negligent driving.
Pedestrian fatalities have shown a 2% decrease from 37% to 35%, while driver fatalities remained at 27% and cyclists at 2%.
SAIA extends its condolences to the families of all those affected by the reported road crashes during the past festive season.
SAIA also applauds the Department of Transports for increasing the number of roadblocks to 775 compared with 440 in the previous year; the introduction of the 24/7 road law enforcement shifts; the rollout of the Evidential Breath Alcohol Test (EBAT); and the introduction of “Operation Malayisha” which is aimed at the removal of overloaded trailers on the roads.
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