Announcing the preliminary report into the Easter road death statistics in Pretoria yesterday, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said 156 fatalities were recorded this year, compared to 287 last year.
This is commendable, but experts remain sceptical because traffic volumes are set to pick up again this weekend as holidaymakers return home ahead of the reopening of schools. Most South African drivers don’t obey regulations. They are hazardous to themselves and other road-users because there is no vigorous enforcement of traffic laws.
South African roads are among the world’s deadliest. According to Peters, 913 people were arrested for drunken driving and 502 for speeding. These are unacceptably high figures. We need a zero tolerance approach by officials to clamp down on negligent driver behaviour and to end carnage on our roads.
Any decline in the number of deaths on our roads is welcome, but the needless deaths of 156 people in a period of less than a week is still catastrophic. The loss of one life is one too many