Road death stats paint bleak picture

Road deaths increased by 51 percent from last year, the Easter weekend road accidents statistics show.

Newly appointed transport minister Joe Maswanganyi released the figures during a media briefing in Pretoria on Friday.

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“In total, 235 people were killed this year – an increase from the 156 people who were killed over the same period last year,” said Maswanganyi.

Maswanganyi said the majority of accidents occurred late in the afternoon, going into the evening.

“About 34 percent of the daily crashes happened between 18:00 to 22:00 however, peaks were recorded from 01:00-02:00, 06:00-07:00, and 08:00-11:00.”

“Statistics indicate people who died on the roads this Easter were 50 percent passengers followed by pedestrians at 24.5 percent, drivers at 19.8 percent and cyclists at 5.7 percent.”

Maswanganyi warned those found guilty of reckless driving faced a lengthy jail time.

“Our talks with the justice department are now at an advanced stage and we are looking at ways for those who are found guilty to be sent to jail.”

Road Traffic Management Corporation chairman Zola Majavu said he was disappointment with the statistics.

He said the corporation had failed to meet its target of decreasing road accidents by 50 percent.

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“We would have wanted to take the numbers down and no leader with a sound mind would be happy to see more people continue to lose their lives on our roads,” said Majavu.

“We now have to take a new approach towards our campaign because these deaths have a ripple effect on our society.”

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