Jan 29, 2023

Festive Road Fatality Stats: ”He Has To Be The Drunkard Of The Century,” – Mbalula

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This was revealed by Transport Minister, Mr Fikile Mbalula during the release of the latest festive season road traffic statistics.

FILE PHOTO: Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula. PICTURE: Gallo Images

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JOHANNESBURG: A total of 1,451 people died on the country’s roads during the 2022 festive season.

The number of fatal crashes during the period between 1 December 2022 and 11 January this year has decreased by 13.9% in comparison to 2021.

This was revealed by Transport Minister, Mr Fikile Mbalula during the release of the latest festive season road traffic statistics.

Speaking at a media briefing at the N1 Grasmere Toll Plaza on Tuesday, Mr Mbalula said that more than 1,600 fatalities were reported in the previous period.

While the minister welcomed the decline, pedestrians have accounted for 40% of the country’s deaths.

The minister said that most crashes occurred during weekends involving minibuses, cars and trucks.

Meanwhile, the acting Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Transport, Mr Lisa Mangcu, has noted with concern the many road fatalities that have occurred during the festive season.

“It is of great concern to the committee that road fatalities involving trucks are on the increase and have become so common that they arouse no outcry. These fatalities seem to be occurring locally and the indication is that recklessness and driver behaviour are attributable. Enforcement agencies need to look into this and find a way to courteously deal with driver behaviour,” said Mr Mangcu.

“The situation calls for law enforcement to be stringent, with stiff penalties imposed. It is just not right that South Africans continue to perish and are harmed on the roads during holidays,” he added.

Mr Mangcu believes that the situation will only improve once all drivers accept that road safety is their responsibility.

Mr Mbalula says the past year recorded significant gains in efforts to reduce road fatalities.

During the release of the 2022/2023 festive road fatality statistics, Mr Mbalula revealed that a driver was arrested for being 16 times over the legal limit.

The minister said, ”[h]e has to be the drunkard of the century.”

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