Western Cape road deaths down

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IOL mot pic dec18 Cape road block

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A traffic officer checks a driving licence at a roadblock near Cape Town. Picture: Courtney Africa.

There have been fewer road deaths in the Western Cape since the beginning of the month than in the same period last year, while more than 500 people have died in accidents across the country.

According to statistics released by the Road Traffic Management Corporation on Tuesday, 550 people have died in 459 fatal road crashes in the country since the start of the month.

The three provinces with the most fatalities are Gauteng with 99, KwaZulu-Natal with 89, and Mpumalanga with 51. The Western Cape has had a reported 40 fatal road crashes.

According to the RTMC, dangerous overtaking, excessive speed and drunken driving continued to contribute to road fatalities.

The highest speed clocked by traffic officers was 221km/h, in a 120km/h zone on the N2, near Ellingham in KwaZulu-Natal. The motorist, driving a BMW Z4, was arrested and released on R5 000 bail.

This month, 77 people have died on Western Cape roads.

Transport and public works MEC Robin Carlisle said while this number remained unacceptably high, the decrease showed progress had been made in changing behaviour and saving lives.

His department launched its Safely Home “It Takes a Second to Save a Life” campaign last month.

“Notwithstanding a bloody past weekend on our roads, we are beginning to see the positive results of this campaign.”

Carlisle said the number of passenger deaths had decreased by 70 percent from 59 last year to 18 this year, the number of driver deaths from 27 to 14, and the number of pedestrian deaths from 55 to 45.

Drunken driving, speeding and fatigue management continued to be the focus of law enforcement.

“The horror crashes we see, particularly on the long stretches like the N1 and the N2, can no doubt be attributed to one (if not all) of these contributing factors.”

Drivers travelling long distances would be pulled over and made to rest if found to be fatigued. - Cape Argus


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