17 December 2012

South Africa: Eight-Nine People Killed On Western Cape Roads, 42 Percent Passengers

press release

Up until 16 December 2012, 89 people had been killed on the Western Cape Roads, compared to 66 in 2011, an increase of 35%.

Of the 89 lives lost already in the province, 37 have been passengers, 31 pedestrians, 16 drivers, three motorcyclists and two cyclists.

At an enforcement operation carried out by Provincial Traffic authorities, it was observed that 65% of drivers were not buckled up, while a staggering 83% of back seat passengers were also not buckled up.

"These figures are very alarming. They direct all of us to the very serious dangers that drivers and passengers place themselves in by not buckling up. Last year, at this time, 17 passengers had been killed on our roads compared to 37 this year, a very worrying 122% increase. Lives are now being lost on our roads at a rate of five people a day, and will continue to do so if some drivers persist with treating the rules of the road with such serious disregard, and fail to buckle themselves, and their increasingly vulnerable passengers, up.

"The significant role played by fatigue was again demonstrated by a vehicle driving head on into a South African Police Service (SAPS) vehicle in Beaufort West. Preliminary investigations by SAPS indicated that the driver had been nodding off at the wheel several times before the crash.

"Fatigue has played a major role in the December fatalities, and the current actions to deal with fatigue will continue," added Carlisle.

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