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The Easter Weekend is linked with increased traffic flow and collisions, seeing several people lose their lives over the long weekend.
However, Easter Weekend 2022 proved to be somewhat different, according to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, who discussed the latest stats.
On Thursday, 28 April 2022, Minister Mbalula stated, “We have come from a unique Easter period characterised by a number of peculiar circumstances that impacted the travel patterns of many holidaymakers and our Easter road safety campaign. This Easter period was marked by incessant rainfalls throughout the country and floods that ravaged homes, infrastructure and left many families devasted in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as parts of Eastern Cape.”
Moreover, an analysis of traffic volumes on all major highways indicated that the number of cars on the roads remained the same, except in KwaZulu-Natal, where traffic volumes decreased by approximately 21% because of floods.
“It will be remis of me if I do not commend the motorists for displaying good behaviour and willingness to comply with the rules of the road during the Easter period. Law enforcement statistics show that there were fewer people prosecuted for speeding, drunken driving, driving unlicensed vehicle and driving without fastening seatbelts this year compared to previous years,” the Minister of Transport highlighted.
Furthermore, according to Minister Mbalula, the Department of Transport’s analysis showed that while the trend of fatalities per time of the day continues to show that most fatalities occur at night, a new phenomenon was noted this Easter, with fatalities showing a sharp spike in the early hours of the morning between 4 and 5 am.
Mbalula noted the following infringements were recorded during the Easter period:
- A total of 2,395 traffic fines were issued for speeding this year compared to 5,923 last year.
- 3,494 motorists were fined for operating unlicensed vehicles compared to 5,677 the previous year.
- 2,134 drivers were fined for driving without fastened seatbelts in 2022 compared to 2,351 the previous year.
“The peculiar circumstances of this year’s Easter period also had an impact on the number of vehicles that were involved in road crashes and in the number of people who died on the road.”
According to the Minister, the number of crashes declined by 28.6%, resulting in a 31.5% decline in fatalities on South African roads.
All Provinces recorded a decline in fatalities, except for the Western Cape and Mpumalanga.
According to the Minister Mbalula, the statistics for fatalities are as follows:
- The Western Cape recorded a 30.8% increase from 26 fatalities in 2021 to 34 this year.
- Mpumalanga recorded a 27.8% increase from 18 road fatalities the previous year to 23 this year.
- KwaZulu-Natal registered a 61.1% decline from 54 road deaths the previous year to 21 this year.
- Northern Cape registered a 57.1% decline from 7 road fatalities the previous year to 3 this year.
- Free State registered a 53.8% decline from 13 deaths the previous year to 6 this year.
- North West registered a 45% decline from 20 deaths the previous year to 11 this year.
- Limpopo registered a 44.1% decline from 34 deaths the previous year to 19 this year.
- Gauteng registered a 33.3% decline from 36 deaths the previous year to 24 this year.
- Eastern Cape registered a 25.9% decline from 27 deaths the previous year to 20 this year.
In total, 162 people perished on South Africa’s roads this year compared to 235 last year, resulting from 134 fatal crashes this year compared to 189 in 2021.
Further noting that most crashes occurred on Friday, 15 April 2022, and Saturday, 16 April 2022.
According to Mbalula, this Easter’s success will add momentum to the Department of Transport’s efforts to reduce road fatalities by 25% by 2024. “Improving our law enforcement capability and visibility, as well as upscaling public safety campaigns will continue to gain traction,” he noted.
However, one does have to think that the floods played a major role in the decline in figures and not just the department’s efforts. What do you think?
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