Male pedestrians biggest contributors to festive season road fatalities

A pedestrian accident scene on the M5 in Cape Town. Picture: David Ritchie Independent Newspapers

A pedestrian accident scene on the M5 in Cape Town. Picture: David Ritchie Independent Newspapers

Published Jan 24, 2024


Pedestrian men between the ages of 25 and 44 were the biggest contributors to the significant number of road fatalities in the 2023/2024 festive season road deaths statistics.

The statistics were released earlier today by Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga alongside MECs from various provinces at the Grasmere toll plaza.

Chikunga revealed that despite remaining relatively high, the festive season road statistics had shown that there were as many as 1 427 deaths on the roads for the 2023/2024 festive season.

The statistics recorded from December 1 to January 11 indicated a 1.7% decline from the previous year’s records.

There were according to law enforcement officials 1 184 fatal crashes, which signalled a 2.3% decline from the 1 212 crashes witnessed during the 2022/2023 festive season, as this represented 28 fewer deaths.

Worryingly, Chikunga said the biggest contributors to this number were men between the ages of 25 and 44, of which 40.9% of those who died were pedestrians.

Most crashes were said to have occurred from December 1 to 5, between 7pm and 10pm, with the peak between 8pm to 9pm.

Chikunga said that the majority of the road fatalities and/or accidents took place during weekends, especially on Sundays.

While she took the opportunity to commend traffic authorities for maintaining high visibility on national and provincial roads during this period, with more than 1.4 million vehicles stopped over the recent festive season, she did stress that they needed to find strategies to monitor in residential areas as well.

Law enforcement agencies arrested as many as 7 820 motorists for among others driving under the influence of alcohol, inconsiderate and reckless driving, producing false documentation as well as excessive speeding.

The biggest speedster was apprehended on the N1 in Limpopo clocking in at 225km/hour in a 120km/h zone.

Meanwhile, in Butterworth in the Eastern Cape, a driver with a blood alcohol level of 2.48mg was also arrested, considering the legal limit stands at 0.24mg per 1 000ml of breath.

Another big contributor to the road accidents Chikunga cited were environmental factors such as heavy rainfall and storms, which she said contributed to 80% of crashes.

The Star