File picture: ER24
File picture: ER24

Easter road deaths 'down by 46%'

By Motoring Staff Time of article published Mar 29, 2016

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Pretoria - This year's Easter holiday period saw a 46 percent decline in road fatalities, according to Transport Minister Dipuo Peters.

"The report we are presenting this morning is preliminary and statistics will be compared to the report of last year. This report entails figures from Thursday, March 24, to Monday, March 28, 2016," Peters told reporters in Pretoria on Tuesday. "The report indicates that there were 156 fatalities on the roads this year, compared to 287 fatalities for the same period last year. This presents a much welcomed 46 percent decline."

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However, Justice Project SA chairman Howard Dembovsky noted that other factors could be at play here:

"The fact that last week only comprised of three days with Human Rights Day falling on the 21st and Good Friday falling on the 25th of this month, coupled with the school holidays coinciding with these public holidays would naturally mean that traffic concentrations would have been significantly lower than they would ordinarily be over an Easter long-weekend."

"In addition, the fact that this Easter fell before the month-end on which many people receive their salaries would have also have had an influence," Dembovsky added.

PROVINCIAL FIGURES

As for the provincial road death figures, Minister Peters said that with the exception of the Northern Cape, which recorded the same number of deaths as last year, all other provinces recorded a decrease in of fatalities.

"Notably, the North West recorded the highest decrease of 71 percent with the number of fatalities reduced from 28 to eight. They were followed by the Free State with a decrease of 52 percent, fatalities reduced from 23 to 11," said Peters.

Peters said the road fatalities had decreased in spite of an increase in the number of registered vehicles in South Africa by 333 226, which represented a three percent increase. The total number of registered vehicles in the country as at February stood at 11.7 million.

During the Easter holiday, the busiest roads were the N1 north through Pretoria, Polokwane and Beitbridge, the N3 south towards Durban, the N4 from Pretoria to Nelspruit and Komatipoort and N1 from Magaung to the Western Cape.

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