South Africa: The Human Factor Is Once Again the Main Cause of Road Accidents

press release

The human factor has, once again, proved to be the main cause of fatalities on our roads this past festive season. This reckless, insensitive and negligent behaviour has resulted in the Limpopo Department of Roads and Transport not reaching its target of reducing road carnage by 25 percent, even though the department pulled out all stops to ensure a carnage-free festive season.

The department deployed all its resources, human and material, and also adopted a zero-tolerance approach. Traffic officers worked extended hours, working under punishing conditions to selflessly ensure that all road users arrive at their different destinations safe and accident-free.

The Communications team constantly maintained traffic alerts through the mass media to keep road users informed of traffic situations in different parts of the province. While we are pleased that the majority of road users responded positively to the department's approach to traffic management this festive season, the reality is that there are road users who opted to be different.

The department's resolve of reducing road carnage has indeed been a major factor this past festive season. The department strengthened its law enforcement operations as well as road safety campaigns. Twenty five road blocks were conducted in all districts, recording major successes with many vehicles being discontinued and some impounded. A total of 159 129 were stopped and tested and 26 101 notices were issued.

During law enforcement operations, 60 light motor vehicles were discontinued and 29 impounded, with 10 busses being discontinued and 6 being impounded. Sixty three mini-busses were discontinued and 43 impounded. This means that, as a result of strict law enforcement operations, a total of 180 vehicles were discontinued and 167 impounded. Two hundred and sixty seven road safety awareness activities were conducted throughout the province.

Because of our visible law enforcement and zero-tolerance approach, many traffic law violators were arrested. At least 53 drunken drivers were arrested, 54 motorists arrested for excessive speed, 2 motorists for reckless and negligent driving, 4 motorists for overloading, whilst a total of 511 warrants were issued. The highest speed recorded, resulting in arrests, was 200km/h at a 120km zone and 118km/h in a 60 km zone.

In 2011/2012, the province recorded a staggering 383 accidents which resulted in 75 fatalities. In the current situation there was a notable decrease. For the year 2012/2013, the province recorded 297 accidents resulting in 71 fatalities. The main causes of these accidents were speeding, jaywalking, not maintaining a safe following distance, reckless and negligent driving, unsafe overtaking, as well as drinking and driving.

The Limpopo Department of Roads and Transport shall not despair in the fight against reducing road carnage given the current situation. We shall work harder in enforcing the law as well as intensifying our road traffic awareness campaigns.

The MEC for Roads and Transport, Pitsi Moloto, applauds, acknowledges and appreciates the selfless work by traffic officers as well as law enforcement officers. "These men and women sacrificed their festive holidays to ensure that all road users are safe. The department will forever be indebted to their hard work and dedication."

To the road users, Moloto emphasized that road safety is the responsibility of all road users. He indicated that all road users should ensure that they change their behaviour and respond positively to road safety tips and guidelines issued by the department.

The department will swiftly start planning towards the Easter holidays where millions of people will be driving to the province for the holidays, but more importantly for the annual Zion Christian Church (ZCC) pilgrimage.

Working together we can rid our roads of road carnage and Arrive Alive

Issued by: Limpopo Roads and Transport

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