Deaths on South African roads at 1215 for December 2005

Thursday, January 5, 2006

According to the South African government’s Department of Transport, the number of fatalities on the country’s roads during December 2005 was 1,215. This is compared with 1,234 the previous year, where the total number of deaths in traffic accidents was 10,530.

Department of Transport spokeswoman, Collen Msibi, stated that 512 of the fatalities were pedestrians, 414 passengers, and 289 drivers. 2005 saw the number of vehicles on South Africa’s roads rise by nearly half a million to just under eight million with 779,000 new drivers adding to the dangers on the country’s roads.

“To deal with this high level of unsafety, traffic authorities will increase the number of patrol vehicles on the road, law enforcement officers and unmarked vehicles to do more spot checks and roadblocks,” Msibi said.

“Our analysis has revealed that most accidents are preceded by offences such as ignoring road signs, driving drunk, speeding, vehicles cutting in front of others, driving defective vehicles and fatigue.”

The road toll in South Africa is similar to that of South Korea, Mexico, Japan and Thailand. However, except for South Korea these countries have significantly larger populations.

The worst country in the world for deaths in road traffic accidents, is currently accepted to be China. Figures released for 2002 reveal that 250,007 people were killed in that year.

The South African government has acknowledged the problem since 2001. At that time they launched their “Arrive Alive” campaign, targeting vehicle condition, driver fitness, speeding and drunk driving.

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