Payday Weekends See Spike in Road Deaths
Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
Analysis of 2014 fatalities data indicates that fatalities on pay day weekends spike by as much as 23.6% compared to other weekends. While on average, 3.6 people are killed every day on Western Cape roads, this rises to an average of 6.2 people per day over pay day weekends.
August 2014 saw the worst weekend recorded this year, with 26 fatalities over the pay day weekend starting 1 August. The following pay day weekend, which began on 29 August, saw a further 20 people killed.
Motorists, pedestrians and all road users can avoid becoming a pay day weekend fatality:
- Do not mix alcohol and road use. Driving or walking on the roads while intoxicated is a quick way to an early grave. Use public transport if you intend drinking alcohol.
- If you are travelling in a vehicle, always wear your seatbelt, in the front and back seats – this one second step doubles your chance of surviving a crash.
- Never exceed the speed limit.
- Exercise extreme caution while driving during the following times:
- Friday nights, from 18:00 until midnight.
- Saturday mornings, from 6:00 until 10:00.
- Saturday nights, avoid driving completely if possible, from 18:00 until 4:00.
- Sunday afternoons, from 15:00 until 21:00.
Pay day means more money available for people to travel, shop and visit loved ones, but it also means more money available for the purchase of alcohol. Greater mobility and greater access to alcohol are reflected in spikes in the death rate over pay day weekends. While further data analysis is required to isolate all of the factors involved, the public are warned to please exercise extra caution over this time.
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