Cape Town - The number of deaths on Western Capes roads over the festive season has declined steadily since 2011, Transport MEC Robin Carlisle says.

A total of 263 people died on provincial roads over the holidays in 2010/11, compared with 221 in the recent holidays.

In the 2011/12 holidays 247 died, while 230 people died in 2012/13.

In a joint statement Carlisle, Community Safety MEC Dan Plato and provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa attributed the decrease to the different partnerships between traffic services as well as advertisement campaigns.

Africa said: “We have decreased road deaths in the province by 30.1 percent since the beginning of 2009 through the innovative and informed Safely Home initiative approach to road safety.”

A total of 78 106 vehicles were stopped at roadblocks over the holidays, with 322 drivers arrested for suspected drunkenness while 32 538 drivers were prosecuted for speeding.

Key partnerships with provincial, metro and municipal traffic service efforts saw a clampdown on seatbelt-related violations, resulting in 4673 fines.

Long-distance motorists – taxi and bus drivers as well as private vehicle drivers – were pulled over for fatigue management, resulting in 95 drivers being forced to park and rest.

Although the total number of road deaths decreased, pedestrian and motorcycle deaths remained high.

Carlisle said: “The festive season wasn’t so good for pedestrians with 87 fatalities recorded.

“And the number of motorcycle fatalities on our roads was 17, the highest it has been in the past four years over the festive season.

“We offer our sincere thanks to all our men and women who spent the season on the roads saving lives. We also extend our condolences to the families and friends of the 221 people that tragically lost their lives on our roads.”

Cape Argus