Dept concerned with increasing road fatalities

Johannesburg – During a recent Road Safety Seminar, the Department of Community Safety said between January and October, the province has seen 2 155 road fatalities as compared to 2 077 during the same period last year, with 48% of victims being pedestrians.

  As the province experienced a spike in fatal traffic accidents, an infant and a two-year-old toddler were among 22 people killed in road accidents last weekend. The children were among six people who died on the N12 near the Golden Highway in a head-on collision.

  The department’s Yusuf Bhyat attributed this to failure of the media to emphasise importance of correcting human behaviour on the roads.

  Profiling Gauteng road fatalities at the event hosted by Gauteng roads and Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo, Bhyat said 90% of fatal crashes in the province were due to human factors. “Almost all fatal accidents have an element of alcohol use. In some cases, drivers wore seatbelts and passengers didn’t,” he said.

  Bhyat said Gauteng’s three metro municipalities contributed 80% to road deaths, with Tshwane having the highest motor vehicle fatalities, while Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni lead in fatal accidents involving pedestrians.

“In Gauteng seven people die per day on the roads, mostly on weekends; and some 48% of all road fatalities are pedestrians. At the current rate, we will exceed last year’s total, if nothing drastic is done in the next two months,” Bhyat said

  Mamabolo said his department is working on promoting Gauteng to be a province of smart mobility.

  “We will attend to the issue of driver behaviour, which is the biggest contributor to high fatalities on the road. We will look at how to leverage technology to impact challenges and fatalities,” he said.

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