13 December 2012

South Africa: Road Deaths Up 31 Percent in First 10 Days of December - Back Seat 'Buckling-Up' Enforcement to Be Intensified

press release

The first 10 days of December has seen 62 people being killed on the Western Cape roads, compared to 43 in 2011, an increase of 31%.

Of the 62 lives lost already in the province, 28 (45%) of them have been passengers, while 20 (32%) have been pedestrians.

"This has been a very grim start to the festive season with lives being lost at a rate of six per day. The uncharacteristically high proportion of passenger deaths immediately identifies a lack of seat belt compliance, particularly in respect of back seat passengers.

"Therefore, in addition to the continuing measures in respect of drunk driving; speeding; and fatigue management; the enforcement of "buckling up" amongst back seat passengers will be intensified," said Minister Carlisle.

Between August 2011 and June 2012, a total of 13 621 fines were issued by City of Cape Town officials for seatbelts not being in use, 415 fines for seatbelts not meeting the required specifications, and 56 for children not being effectively restrained.

"Our fatality statistics and engagement with our partners in the City have revealed this very concerning trend with regard to the use of seatbelts, particularly amongst passengers in the back seat of a vehicle. With a high number of the fatalities coming from the Metro (35%), not wearing your seatbelt is quite literally a gamble with your own life, and that of your passengers. Injuries sustained in crashes are intensified when seatbelts are not used, especially by back seat passengers. A decision to buckle-up is almost always the difference between life and death," added Carlisle.

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