Easter road deaths down, but booze still a big problem
JOHANNESBURG - Although the Easter road death toll was down by an encouraging 9.6 percent versus 2019 - which is the nearest comparable year given the lockdown situation in 2020 - the number of drunk driving arrests is a major cause for concern.
This is according to the South African Road Safety Partnership (RSP), which noted that the intensified law enforcement campaign over the long weekend likely contributed to the lower fatality rate.
“During the 336 roadblocks over the weekend, more than 178 000 vehicles were stopped and checked,” the RSP said. “This resulted in the issuing of more than 32 000 traffic fines, over 800 discontinuations of vehicles and the impounding of more 780 vehicles.
“It is concerning to note that a large number of people were arrested for drinking and driving over the relatively short space of time and when the sale of alcohol was banned. As much as 438 motorists were arrested for driving under the influence. Additionally, 140 motorists were arrested for speeding and reckless driving.”
The organisation added that a no tolerance attitude toward dangerous driving would have a massive impact in reducing South Africa’s road fatality rates further.
“To every South African who played their part by obeying road regulation, not getting behind the wheel after drinking and employing other good driving habits, we express our gratitude as well. May we all continue to work together as a country to prevent unnecessary loss of life and strain on the economy that our high crash statistics have,” the RSP concluded.