Dept to take no nonsense attitude towards drunk, reckless motorists

LIMPOPO – The Department of Transport is seeking to introduce a heavier penalty for those caught drinking and driving, driving negligently or driving recklessly following the release of road fatalities recorded on South African roads since 1 December till 19 December 2016, where driver errors contributed to 23.8% of the road fatalities.

According to a statement issued by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters, a total of 845 fatalities have been recorded on South African roads since 1 December till 19 December 2016, a 17% increase compared to the same period in the previous year.

Limpopo has recorded the highest increase in fatalities and second highest increase in crashes over the festive period, said Peters.

[WATCH] This post on Twitter shows dash cam footage of a near accident a few kilometers outside of Polokwane.

Limpopo recorded the second highest increase in crashes with and added 28 from last year in the same period.  KwaZulu-Natal was highest with a recorded increase of 32, North West by nine, Mpumalanga increased by 26, Gauteng by three and the Free State by two.

“The Northern Cape has recorded a decrease of four in crash figures, with Eastern Cape and the Western Cape stabilising at the same figure of 82… compared to the same period last year,” Minister Peters said.

Provinces which have recorded an increase in fatalities were Limpopo with 63, Mpumalanga with 44, KwaZulu-Natal with 31, the Free State with 17 and the North West with six.

Provinces which recorded a decrease in fatalities include the Eastern Cape at 31, the Western Cape as well as the Northern Cape with two, while Gauteng stood at four.

The Department of Transport continues to engage with the Department of Justice to introduce minimum sentences for negligent and reckless driving.

“We are seeking to reclassify drunken driving from a Schedule 3 [offence]… to a more severe Schedule 5 offence to ensure those who negligently cause crashes on the roads do not get bail easily and spend time behind bars,” Minister Peters said.

Human factors which cause accidents include pedestrian jaywalking at 30.7%, while speed accounted for 15.2%, hit and run accounted for 10.2% and overtaking facing oncoming vehicles was at 7.6%.

Men account for 78.4% of fatalities. Women account for 21.2%.

Passengers accounted for 39.2% of fatalities, while pedestrians accounted for 34.3%. Driver errors contributed to 23.8% of the road fatalities.

The official statistics are only due to be released later this week.
SAnews.gov.za

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