File picture: David Ritchie / Independent Media.

Cape Town - At least 107 people have died in accidents on Western Cape roads for the first 18 days of December, a notable increase on the road death toll for the same period last year, the transport and public works department said on Wednesday.

In a statement, the department said the spike in road deaths follows the deadly crash on the N1 highway at Touwsrivier the past weekend which claimed the lives of 12 people, including three children. 

"For the first 18 days of December, a total of 107 people have been killed, which is a notable increase from the 87 who had died over the same period last year, a 23% increase from 2017’s figures," the statement said.

"The number of passenger deaths has more than doubled over this period, increasing from 17 deaths in 2017, to 40 deaths this year. This is cause for serious concern."

The department has urged motorists to take necessary precautions, including not indulging in alcohol before getting behind the wheel, avoiding speeding, using seatbelts and resting at appropriate intervals on long distance journeys.

African News Agency (ANA)