Limpopo tops the charts in terms of the reduction of road accidents and fatalities for 2017 Festive Season after 176 fatalities were recorded against 270 in 2016 which is a 27% reduction and accidents by 17% as 162 crashes were observed compared to 196 in the previous year.
The statistics was presented by Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi in Pretoria this morning (Monday). A statement made available to Polokwane Observer by the Limpopo Department of Transport and Community Safety Spokesperson, Matome Moremi quoted Maswanganyi to have said the preliminary festive season fatalities for the period starting on 1 December to 9 January show that there were 1 527 people who died on the national roads compared to 1 714 fatalities in the same period the previous year.
He further said the records represent 11% decline which surpassed the 10% target and added that when considering the entire holiday period from 1 December to 15 January, there were 1 676 fatalities compared to 1 875 in the same period the previous year.
Limpopo occupied the first spot followed by Free State on the second place and KwaZulu-Natal on the third. Maswanganyi said “The highest number of fatalities across the country was among pedestrians which increased from 34% to 37% and fatalities among drivers also increased from 23% to 27%. However, there was a decline in passenger fatalities from 41% to 35% which indicates that it is possible to save more lives if more people use safety belts.”
He went on to say there was an increase in fatalities among young drivers between the ages of 25 to 34 but an encouraging decline in the number of fatalities among drivers between the ages of 35 and 49 was recorded.
A number of traffic violation notices have shown a decrease from 453 263 in the previous period to 304 603 in the period under review, he explained and added that there was a decline in the number of people who were fined for failing to wear safety belts and the number of discontinued vehicles.
It was reported that a state-owned driving licence centre in NkowaNkowa, where learners driving permits and drivers licences were issued without due regard of the driver’s fitness, was closed. Five examiners and three civilians who facilitated corrupt deals were arrested and twelve traffic officers were also arrested for taking bribes from motorists in Limpopo, said Maswanganyi. He further applauded men and women in uniform for the job well done and urged them to continue working diligently to reach the 10% target.
Story: ENDY SENYATSI