The death toll on South Africa’s roads during the festive season has taken a turn for the worst.
Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters announced on Tuesday that the festive death toll stood at 1755 road fatalities.
The festive season fatalities were reported between 1 December 2015 and 11 January 2016.
This was a significant increase from the 2014/2015 festive season period from 1 December 2014 to 5 January 2015.
During this period 1118 fatal crashes with 1368 fatalities were registered.
Poor visibility, sharp bends and faulty breaks were among the main controbutory factors to the road accidents which occured during the past festive season.
“The situation could have been more bleak had our law enforcers not intensified enforcement operations,” Peters said.
She also issued a stern warning to police officers who are caught on the wrong side of the law.
“Those rotten apples need to be rooted out of the system and we will not rest until that is done.
“Two officers in North West, one from Tshwane metro police and another from Gauteng, were arrested for soliciting bribes,” Peters said.
“A new phenomenon has come to the fore this year with most crashes occurring between 14H00 and 23H00 at 51.4%. This stark contrast to the norm might be confidently attributed to our relentless and resilient implementation of the 24/7 law enforcement,” said Peters.
Most accidents involved small motor vehicles, followed by light delivery vehicles and then mini-buses and taxis.
The majority of people who died were passengers.
Children aged from 0-4 contributed 10,4% of pedestrian deaths.
Human factors contributed the most to the crashes with many collisions occurring as a result of jaywalking and speed.