Increase in road deaths during Easter 2023

There has been an increase in the number of people who died on the country’s road over the Easter long weekend in 2023. 225 people lost their lives on South African roads for the 2023 Easter weekend, with 185 fatal crashes. At the same time last year, 161 fatalities were recorded with 135 fatal crashes. This means that 64 more people died on the countries roads compared to last year.

Minister of Transport, Sindisiwe Chikunga on Friday, released the 2023 Easter Road Traffic Statistics at the Road Traffic Management Corporation offices in Midrand, Gauteng.

Furthermore, the statistics on gender classification shows that there was a decrease in female fatalities from 28% in 2022 to 19% in 2023 and male fatalities increased from 67% in 2022 to 70%.

Chikunga revealed that the top five traffic offences identified during the Easter period were speeding, driving unlicensed vehicles, driving without fastening seatbelts, driving without licences, and driving vehicles with worn out tyres.

‘’Our law enforcement officers maintained visibility throughout the period and dealt with the intransigent drivers who could not resist the temptation to break the rules of the road and share the space responsibly. As a consequence, 30 934 traffic fines were issued, 430 vehicles were discontinued because of road unworthiness related issues, 1 625 were impounded for displaying invalid or fake discs, and operating in violation of permits, while 1 716 drivers were arrested for excessive speeding, drunken driving, reckless and negligent driving, and operating public transport without permits.’’

‘’The worst speedster was nabbed on the N1 near Lyttleton in Centurion, Gauteng driving at an excessive speed of 198 kilometres per hour in a 120-kilometre zone.  The worst drunken driving incident was recorded in the central business district of Harrismith in the Free State when a driver recorded 1.16 milligrams of alcohol in 1 000 millilitres of breath. This was 4.8 times more than the legal limit of 0.24 mg in 1 000 ml of breath,’’ she added.

Chikunga, revealed that there was an increase in fatalities in all provinces, except in Mpumalanga, Western Cape and the North West

‘’and we congratulate these provinces for the work well done. The other six provinces that recorded an increase which is setback that may impact on our ability to attain the goals set out in the United Nations global road safety campaign to reduce road carnages by half in 2030 if not changed.’’

Most people who died on South African roads were pedestrians, who accounted for 44,4% of all fatalities, followed by passengers at 27,7%.  Drivers accounted for 25.6%; cyclists at 1,3% while the road user status of 1%, says Chikunga, could not be determined.

The minister also revealed that the highest number of pedestrians died in collisions that occurred in the Western Cape, Limpopo, Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal.

The highest number of fatalities occurred on Friday and the lowest number was recorded on Thursday.

Most of the fatalities occurred at 3p.m and 10 o’clock at night and were predominantly characterised by hit and run crashes, single vehicle overturned, pedestrian collisions and head on collisions.

Human factors, which include reckless and negligent driving, says Chikunga, was the most prominent contributing factor in all fatalities at 96,2% followed by road and environmental factors at 4.5% while vehicle factors were the least contributor at 1,1%.

‘’The unacceptably high contribution of human factors reflects poor driving habits of our motorists and is also a reflection of the high number of incompetent drivers on the roads. We are scaling up anti-corruption interventions including the use of technology such as the computerised learner licence testing sheets including the smart DLTs which we saw this morning, which we will be rolling out throughout the country,’’ said the transport minister.

Furthermore, The statistics on gender classification shows that there was a decrease in female fatalities from 28% in 2022 to 19% in 2023 and male fatalities increased from 67% in 2022 to 70%.

Ladies and gentlemen allow me to express my profound disappointment and displeasure at the high rate of crashes and fatalities experienced during this Easter long weekend.

‘’Most of these are young aspiring professionals whose careers were beginning to shine. They possessed the skills that are needed to grow our country’s economy and to reduce poverty, inequality, and underdevelopment.’’

The Western Cape meanwhile saw a 30.5% reduction in traffic fatalities over the April long weekend compared to the same period, last year with a 44.5% reduction on provincial routes and an 11.1% reduction on municipal routes

26 people lost their lives on Western Cape roads compared to 36 in 2022

Of the 26 that died on the province’s roads, 16 were pedestrians, 5 were drivers, 3 were passengers, and 2 motorcyclists lost their lives on the Western Cape roads during this year’s Easter weekend.

The Western Cape’s Mobility MEC, Ricardo Mackenzie, raised concerns over the number of motorists who were three sheets to the wind

According to the provincials department, 79 motorists were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Additionally, nine motorists were arrested for speeding and 373 speeding offences were recorded.

Mackenize urged road users to obey the rules of the road

‘’While this reflects positively on our collective road safety efforts, the 26 lives lost on our roads (compared to 36 last year) bring significant heartache for the families left behind. We must all continue to take personal responsibility for the actions that either prevent or cause the tragic crashes that lead to these traffic fatalities.’’

‘’Thank you to the many law-abiding road users who helped to reduce fatalities this year by sticking to the law and avoiding risky behavior,’’ he added.



Done By: Mitchum George



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