Pay Day Weekend Death Toll Third Worst of the Year | Western Cape Government


Pay Day Weekend Death Toll Third Worst of the Year

29 September 2014

Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works

This past pay day weekend saw at least 25 Code Blues on Western Cape roads. A Code Blue is a fatality, which is why we have been highlighting #PayDayBlues in our social media messaging (follow us on Twitter @WCGovSafelyHome).

The Western Cape’s worst pay day weekends include 28 to 30 February, which saw 32 killed, followed by 1 to 3 August with 26. This past weekend was thus the third worst pay day weekend of the year.

Provincial Traffic Services are doing everything in their power to stem the tide of the killed and seriously injured on our roads. They arrested 38 suspected drunk drivers this weekend. City Traffic Services arrested a further 37 suspected drunk drivers during operations over the past week.

But road users are not taking basic precautions to prevent themselves from becoming statistics.

As of Sunday morning, the bodies of every single one of the weekend’s passenger fatalities in the Western Cape had been recovered outside of the vehicle they were in, a very powerful indicator that they had not been wearing their seatbelts when the crash occurred. Data for the rest of the weekend is still to come. Wearing a seatbelt in all seats, on every trip, is a one second way to double your chance of surviving a crash.

Pedestrians killed over the weekend include people killed late at night, in the early hours of the morning, and on highways like the N1, N2 and R43. Walking on busy roads is dangerous at all times and almost suicidal on freeways at night, especially when intoxicated.

Government cannot tackle road carnage on its own. All road users are asked to exercise caution, common sense, and take all basic safety measures.

These include:

  1. Always wear a seat belt. Front and back, every trip, no exceptions.
  2. Never use your cellphone while driving. Just put it down and ignore it – that SMS isn’t worth your life, or the life of a pedestrian you don’t see while looking at your phone.
  3. Never speed, and always be aware that the posted speed limit may be too fast for conditions, especially at night, in bad weather and where pedestrians are present. Children are extremely vulnerable in this regard, as they are smaller, more fragile and are struck on the head and chest by cars.
  4. Never mix alcohol and road use, whether as a driver or pedestrian. This is a recipe for disaster.
  5. Never walk on busy roads, especially freeways, at night. Never walk or run across freeways.


Dangerous driving behaviour, such as tail-gating and unsafe over-taking is also a quick way to becoming a fatality, as this weekend’s head-on collisions showed once again.

Making the roads Better Together means all road users must do their part.

Please follow us on Twitter, @WCGovSafelyHome and follow #PayDayBlues.

Media Enquiries: 

Hector Elliot
Chief Director of Safely Home, Road Safety Co-ordination
Department of Transport and Public Works
Tel: 021 483 6755
Cell: 083 669 9609

Byron La Hoe
Communications Officer
Department of Transport and Public Works
Tel: 021 483 9813