Eight people, including four children, were injured when this bakkie crashed through a barrier on a bridge and down an embankment on Easter Sunday. Picture: ER24
Pretoria – More than 230 people were killed on South African roads during the recent Easter period, with the overall fatalities figure ballooning by 51 percent compared to same period last year, transport minister Joe Maswanganyi revealed on Friday.

“The number of fatalities increased by 79 (51 percent) from 156 over the same period in 2016 to 235 this year, " he told a media briefing in Pretoria. "However, this year’s fatalities are still significantly lower than the 333 fatalities recorded in 2015.

“Our preliminary report shows that many people who died on our roads were victims of hit and run incidents, jaywalking or motorists who were driving at speeds that were too high for circumstances.”

He said the report also revealed a new pattern in which crashes shifted from the identified historical hotspots into new routes and build-up areas during time periods that previously did not have high number of crashes.

“Very glaringly, most crashes and fatalities happened in residential areas and remote areas and, very interestingly, between 11pm and 5am.

“Our statistics show that fatalities increased in all provinces with the exception of the Free State.”

The Easter period saw a remarkable increase in the number of vehicles on the roads across the country.

“The total number of registered vehicles on 31 March stood at 12 047 404 compared to 11 818 124 on 31 March 2016,"  Maswanganyi said, "while the number of registered drivers increased by 507 002 to a new total of 12 283 777.

“A total of 174 253 vehicles were stopped and checked with the intention to remove unroadworthy vehicles from our roads in all provinces.”

African News Agency (ANA)

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