THE Easter holiday period saw a 51% increase in the number of fatalities on South African roads as government continues to fight the number of crashes on the road.
Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi released the statistics on Friday indicating that a total of 235 people died on the roads.
“In total the number of fatalities increased by 79 (51%) from 156 over the same period the previous year to 235 this year. However this year’s fatalities are still significantly lower than the 333 fatalities recorded in 2015,” he said.
Maswanganyi added that only one province; Free State recorded a decrease in the number of fatalities.
It recorded a 27% decline from 11 fatalities in 2016 to only 8 in 2017.
Three other provinces recorded increases under 50%.
The Eastern Cape recorded a 17% increase in fatalities from 24 in 2016 to 27 this year.
Limpopo recorded a 30% increase in fatalities from 23 in 2016 to 30 this year. Mpumalanga recorded a 33% increase from 21 in 2016 to 28 in 2017.
“The highest increases were recorded in Northern Cape with an increase of 7 (175%) from 4 to 11. Kwa-Zulu Natal had an increase of 31 (111%) from 28 to 59. Gauteng had an increase of 14 (58%) from 24 to 38, Western Cape had an increase of 8 (57%) from 14 to 22 and North West had an increase of 4 (50%) from 8 to 12,” said Maswanganyi.
The statistics indicated that the people who died on the roads were passengers at 50% followed by pedestrians at 24.5%, drivers at 19.8% and cyclists at 5.7%.
There was a slight change in the type of vehicles involved in accidents.
Motorcars and LDV’s contributed 49% and 20% respectively. Minibuses contributed 7.6% and busses 1.1%.
The recent bus strike was attributed to the increase of motorcar accidents as many people opted to use private cars due to the unavailability of buses.
That also resulted in a significant increase of vehicles on the roads.
Maswanganyi said the total number of registered vehicles on the 31st of March stood at 12 047 404 compared to 11 818 124 in the same period in 2016.
The number of registered drivers also increased by 507 002 to 12 283 777.
He added that a total number of 174 253 vehicles were stopped and checked with the intention to remove un-roadworthy vehicles from the roads.