File photo: David Ritchie / African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane on Thursday welcomed the release of the preliminary 2018 festive season road safety report by Transport Minister, Blade Nzimande, which indicates that Gauteng recorded a 19 percent decrease in road fatalities.

“Our road safety efforts and practices continue to be bear desirable results as depicted by the festive season report by Minister Nzimande. While Gauteng recorded a commendable 19 percent decrease in the number of road fatalities, we acknowledge that more work still needs to be done to reduce the fatalities to acceptable levels," Nkosi-Malobane said.

The report covers the period from December 1, 2018, to January 8, 2019.  

Nkosi-Malobane said she has noted Gauteng’s improvement in terms of road safety which was attributed to drivers and pedestrians obeying the rules of the road and the intensification of road safety operations and education programmes by law enforcement authorities.

Gauteng recorded 208 road crashes and 219 fatalities during the festive season period.

Nkosi-Malobane said excessive speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol was found to be a contributing factor to the crashes. Other factors such as unroadworthy vehicles, fatigue, unnecessary overtaking, and passenger overloading also contributed to road carnage.

"Following the pronouncement by Minister Nzimande on clamping down on corruption at driving licence and testing centres (DLTC), I have instructed the police to conduct a detailed investigation in each of the driving licence and testing centres especially in Boksburg and Johannesburg where most Gauteng residents were involved in these major crashes during the festive season obtained their licences," Nkosi-Malobane said.

"Having noted that most accidents were caused by public transport operators, I have issued a directive to the law enforcement authorities to continue conducting regular mobile testing operations focusing particularly on public transport.

"We will intensify the road safety education programmes in reducing road crashes on our roads. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost their loved ones during the festive season and wish those who are injured a speedy recovery. Lastly, we urge all drivers to continue to exercise caution on the roads in order to save the lives of passengers and avoid further road crashes and fatalities."

African News Agency (ANA)