KwaZulu-Natal one of four provinces with highest number of pedestrians killed in crashes during Easter

Police said that reports indicate that the driver was overtaking at a designated pedestrian crossing when he allegedly knocked down a pedestrian. Picture: Midlands EMS

Police said that reports indicate that the driver was overtaking at a designated pedestrian crossing when he allegedly knocked down a pedestrian. Picture: Midlands EMS

Published Apr 16, 2023


Durban — When the Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga released the Easter Road Safety statistics on Friday, she revealed that KwaZulu-Natal was one of four provinces with the highest number of pedestrians killed in crashes during Easter.

Chikunga was speaking at the Road Traffic Management Corporation offices in Johannesburg.

“The high number of road users who perished on our roads are pedestrians, who accounted for 44.4% of all fatalities, followed by passengers at 27.7%. Drivers accounted for 25.6%; cyclists at 1.3% while the road user status of 1% could not be determined,” Chikunga said.

“The highest number of pedestrians died in collisions in the Western Cape, Limpopo, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.”

Chikunga said that the highest number of fatalities occurred on Friday and the lowest number was recorded on Thursday. Most of the fatalities occurred at 3pm and 10pm and were predominantly characterised by hit-and-run crashes, single-vehicle overturned, pedestrian collisions and head-on collisions.

“Human factors, which include reckless and negligent driving, were the most prominent contributing factor in all fatalities at 96.2% followed by road and environmental factors at 4.5% while vehicle factors were the least contributor at 1.1%,” Chikunga said.

The minister said that the unacceptably high contribution of human factors reflects our motorists’ poor driving habits and reflects the high number of incompetent drivers on the roads.

Chikunga said that the implementation of their Easter Road Safety Plan was commendable, and the country experienced incidents with only one major crash on the last day of travel when a multiple-vehicle pile-up occurred in misty conditions on the N3 near Hilton in KZN… There were no other major collisions involving multiple vehicles or more than five fatalities during the entire period.

She said that law-enforcement officers maintained visibility throughout the period and dealt with intransigent drivers who could not resist the temptation to break the rules of the road and share the space responsibly.

“As a consequence, 30 934 traffic fines were issued, 430 vehicles were discontinued because of road unworthiness-related issues, 1 625 were impounded for displaying invalid or fake discs, and operating in violation of permits, while 1 716 drivers were arrested for excessive speeding, drunken driving, reckless and negligent driving, and operating public transport without permits,” Chikunga said.

She said that the top five traffic offences identified were speeding, driving unlicensed vehicles, driving without fastening seat belts, driving without licences, and driving vehicles with worn-out tyres.

The minister expressed her disappointment and displeasure at the high rate of crashes and fatalities experienced during the Easter long weekend.

“The total number of fatal crashes this year is 185 resulting in 225 fatalities as opposed to the same period the previous year when we recorded 135 fatal crashes that resulted in 161 fatalities,” Chikunga said.

“The statistics on gender classification show that there was a decrease in female fatalities from 28% in 2022 to 19% in 2023 and male fatalities increased from 67% in 2022 to 70%. Most of these are young aspiring professionals whose careers were beginning to shine.”

Chikunga added that an increase in fatalities was recorded in all provinces except in Mpumalanga, Western Cape and the North West.

“The other six provinces recorded an increase which is a setback that may impact our ability to attain the goals set out in the UN global road safety campaign to reduce road carnages by half in 2030 if not changed,” Chikunga said.

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