December Road Deaths Decrease But Pedestrian Fatalities Remain a Major Concern
Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
Our dedicated and collective efforts on our roads over this festive season have seen a 6% decrease in the number of road deaths for December 2014 compared to those for December 2013 (121 deaths in 2014 compared to 129 deaths in 2013). The continual steady decrease in road deaths shows that our Safely Home campaign is saving lives on our roads, however pedestrian deaths remain unacceptably high compared to other classes of fatalities.
December 1 to December 31 (2014):
- Cyclist: 2
- Driver: 20
- Motor-cyclist: 7
- Passenger: 34
- Pedestrian: 58
December 1 to December 31 (2013):
- Cyclist: 2
- Driver: 25
- Motor-cyclist: 10
- Passenger: 32
- Pedestrian: 60
The first 5 days of 2015 have already seen 13 lives lost on our roads, 8 of those being pedestrians.
We can see that the number of deaths remains slightly lower this festive season than they have been in the past, despite the horror crash on the N1 that claimed 10 lives, on 21 December 2014. That day also marked the highest fatalities for any day during the festive season thus far, with a total of 16 lives lost.
Our enforcement efforts continue to be targeted at the main killers on our roads; speeding, alcohol and road use, distracted driving and fatigue. These efforts are supported by Safely Home's multimedia campaign that is live online and on various radio stations. The campaign is on twitter (@WCGSafelyHome) under the hashtag #BoozeFreeRoads, and is specifically targeted at excessive alcohol use, and the deadly results of alcohol consumption coupled with road use. I urge all road users to adhere to the rules of the road over this time of increased road use. It is important that we take responsibility for our own lives, as well as the lives of others with whom we share our roads.
Enforcement activities over first half of 2014/2015 Festive Season (December 2014):
During the month of December 2014:
- 119573 vehicles were stopped and checked, 580 of them were buses, while 9147 minibus taxis were checked.
- 224 vehicles were discontinued, with 55 public transport vehicles impounded.
- 127 speed monitoring operations were conducted, with the highest speed arrest recorded at 174 km/h.
- 164 drivers were arrested for drink driving, 3 of whom were bus drivers, while 7 were drivers of minibus taxis.
The festive season is by no means over. We will continue with our on-going enforcement efforts and campaigns to make our roads safer as we move into the New Year. January will see many holiday makers be on their way back home making our roads that much busier. I continue to urge all road users to vigilant when travelling; maintain safe speeds; not to drink and drive; pedestrians to be visible and not hazardous to motorists; vehicle occupants (especially children) always to be Buckled Up; and motorists to take regular breaks when travelling long distances; all to ensure that they get Safely Home. We are confident that our collective efforts will save more and more lives, and that by the end of the festive season at the end of January 2015, we will be able to report a marked improvement in road deaths in this province.