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Big jump in Easter road death toll

The death toll on South Africa's roads during the 2017 Easter long weekend has increased by 51 percent.

Joe Maswanganyi_jacanews
Photo: Maryke Vermaak

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi announced the preliminary Easter long weekend road crash statistics at a media briefing in Pretoria on Friday.

"In total the number of fatalities increased by 79 (51 percent) from 156 over the same period the previous year to 235 this year. However, this year's fatalities are still significantly lower than the 333 fatalities recorded in 2015," said Maswanganyi.

Maswanganyi said 50 percent of the fatalities were passengers, followed by pedestrians at 24.5 percent, drivers at 19,8 percent and cyclists at 5.7 percent. 

"Our preliminary report shows that many people who died on our roads were victims of hit-and-run incidents, jaywalking or motorists who were driving at speeds that were too high for circumstances," said Maswanganyi.

The minister said Free State recorded a 27 percent decline in fatalities, from 11 fatalities in 2016 to only 8 this year.

ALSO READ: Traffic volumes skyrocket during Easter

The other provinces recorded the following performance: 


- Eastern Cape recorded a 17 percent increase in fatalities from 24 fatalities in 2016 to 27 this year.

- Limpopo recorded a 30 percent increase in fatalities, from 23 fatalities in 2016 to 30 this year.

- Mpumalanga recorded a 33 percent increase in fatalities, from 21 fatalities in 2016 to 28 this year.

The highest increases have been recorded for the following provinces: 


- Northern Cape recorded an increase of 7 (175 percent) from 4 to 11.

- Kwa-Zulu Natal recorded an increase of 31 (111 percent) from 28 to 59.

- Gauteng recorded an increase of 14 (58 percent) from 24 to 38.

- Western Cape recorded an increase of 8 (57 percent) from 14 to 22. 

- North West recorded an increase of 4 (50 percent) from 8 to 12.

ALSO READ: Decrease in N4 accidents over Easter

Maswanganyi said 61 340 motorists were charged with various offences including failing to wear seatbelts, use of cell phones while driving, speeding and overloading. 

"More than 2 800 motorist were arrested for drunken driving, inconsiderate, reckless and negligent driving, possession of false document and driving without licences and public driver's permits," said Maswanganyi.

The minister said seven motorists were detained for driving at excessive speeds above 160km an hour in 120 km/h zones. 

"These included a motorist who was arrested on N6 in Reddersburg in the Free State driving at 227km an hour while another was caught driving at 225km an hour on the N1 in Pretoria," said Maswanganyi.

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