Easter roads fatalities drop by 9,6%

Easter road fatalities drop by 9,6%

Two-hundred-and-thirty-five people were killed on the country’s roads during the Easter weekend, despite the country being level one lockdown.

Fikile Mbalula at N1 Grasmere plaza
Sinethemba Madolo

This is a 9,6% drop compared to 2019.

The numbers were not compared to the 2020 weekend due to the fact that the country was under a hard lockdown.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula released the Easter death toll at Grasmere Toll Plaza on Thursday.

There were only 28 deaths nationally in 2020, while 2019 had 260.

"For purposes of proper analysis, we have compared the 2021 figures to the 2019 Easter statistics,” Mbalula said.

"We have not taken the 2020 figures into consideration because that was an abnormal period characterised by a hard lockdown which restricted inter-provincial travel and movement between districts.”

KwaZulu-Natal recorded the highest number of fatalities with 54 deaths, followed by Gauteng with 36 and then the Eastern Cape with 27.

"The Northern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu- Natal and North West recorded increases in fatalities while declines were in recorded in all other five provinces.

"Pedestrian fatalities increased by five per cent from 30% to 35% compared to the 2019. 

"We have observed that about 6% of pedestrian fatal crashes occurred between midnight and 02:00 in the morning when people were moving around in violation of COVID-19 curfew," Mbalula noted.

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He said there were no fatalities on Thursday when traffic volumes reached the peak. However, they spiked on Friday evening.

"People had reached their destinations and were indulging in weekend festivities that include alcohol consumption.

"At least 35% of people who died on the roads are pedestrians."

Mbalula said early figures showed an increase in traffic volumes along major routes leading in and out of Gauteng.

"The N1 North to Limpopo, the N3 towards KwaZulu-Natal and the N4 towards Mpumalanga were particularly busy. 

"This happened despite the fact that the Easter weekend did not overlap with school holidays.

"The N3 recorded the highest volume of traffic with 151 143 vehicles travelling through various tollgates on this route. The N1/N4 followed with a total of 120 573 vehicles passing through tollgates between Gauteng, Limpopo and the North West.

"The N1 South between Gauteng through the Free State to the Western Cape recorded 64 001 vehicles while 14 864 vehicles were registered on the N2 in KwaZulu-Natal."

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