Lim records highest increase in road fatalities

Limpopo recorded the highest increase in fatalities over the festive period with 244 fatalities. Photo: Riana Joubert

LIMPOPO – Transport Minister Dipuo Peters released the festive season road death statistics for 2016 in Midrand yesterday.

According to the statistics, Limpopo recorded the highest increase in fatalities by 31%, moving from 186 fatalities in the 2015 period to 244 fatalities in the 2016 period.

Peters says a total of 1,714 fatalities were recorded in this festive period, which is a 5% increase on the previous period and has blamed the majority of fatal crashes during the festive season on driver incompetence and unroadworthy vehicles.

“I have instructed the Road Traffic Management Corporation to undertake an audit of how driving licenses as well as roadworthy certificates are processed and issued in our testing stations,” she said.

Peters has also stated the Department of Transport is seeking to introduce a heavier penalty for those caught drinking and driving, driving negligently or driving recklessly.

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“We are seeking to reclassify drunken driving from a Schedule 3 [offence]… to a more severe Schedule 5 offence to ensure those who negligently cause crashes on the roads do not get bail easily and spend time behind bars,” Peters said.

The statistics also showed an increase in passenger fatalities which constituted 40% of fatalities.

Other statistics included the number of roadblocks, fines, impounds and arrests that were made over the festive period on South Africa’s roads.

According to Peters, 28 238 of those fines were issued to motorists who weren’t wearing seatbelts and 4 046 were issued to motorists using their cellphones.

18 drivers were arrested for driving at excessive speeds between 185 km/h and over 200 km/h.

Peters says she is concerned about the incompetence of some drivers and the number of unroadworthy vehicles on the roads and has warned those who obtained their licences illegally, that they will lose them.

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Raeesa Kimmie

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