Road deaths up over long Easter weekend | Western Cape Government

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Road deaths up over long Easter weekend

5 April 2018

Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works

This past Easter long weekend has seen a spike in both driver and pedestrian deaths, resulting in an overall increase from 25 deaths to 27 deaths when compared to the same period last year.

Driver deaths have gone up from 2 deaths in 2017, to 6 deaths this past Easter weekend. More concerning is the number of pedestrian deaths, which had gone down significantly last year, creeping back up from 5 deaths in 2017, to 11 deaths this past weekend.

The Easter period is known to bring with it increased activity and extraordinary vehicle numbers on our roads, over a short period of time. Such circumstances have required a tailor-made approach that we implemented over this past weekend which saw more and more men and women in blue patrolling our roads, around the clock. Their commitment has undoubtedly made a difference.

Throughout this past weekend, we remained committed to executing law enforcement mission by conducting integrated traffic and road safety initiatives aimed at saving lives. While we fell short of achieving our vision: “No-one should be killed or injured on our roads”, we continue to make progress and learn valuable lessons that help us to adapt our approach regularly.

Easter fatality statistics

The last five Easter periods (from 2014 till now) have seen high fatalities over the Easter weekend. Fatalities over these periods have been:

  17 April -21 April 2014 2 April – 6 April 2015 24 March – 28 March 2016 13 April –  17 April 2017 29 March –  2 April 2018
Class of Fatality          
Cyclist 1 6 5 0 1
Driver 3     2 6
Motor cyclist 4 2   4 3
Passengers 6 8 9 14 6
Pedestrians 13 14 15 5 11
Total 27 30 29 25 27

Enforcement activities

Over the past Easter weekend, our enforcement efforts and interventions focussed on:

  • Safety belts (rear passengers),
  • Driver and vehicle fitness of all types of motor vehicles,
  • Overloading control (public transport vehicles),
  • Utilisation of mobile testing units (vehicle fitness),
  • Manual speed law enforcement at known hazardous locations outside our Average Speed Over Distance (ASOD) sites. I would like to remind all motorists of the consequences of exceeding the general speed limit by 30 k/h rule. The South African Police Service has assured me that they will have ample space to accommodate arrested habitual offenders, including drivers who persist in driving under the influence,
  • Arrests of suspected perpetrators of moving violations - arrests (Provincial Ghost Squad operation),
  • Increased Random Breath Testing with the deployment of our Mobile Alcohol Evidentiary Unit.

During this time, we have stopped and checked thousands of vehicle during our dedicated enforcement operations:

Traffic law enforcement activities: (29 March 2018 – 02 April 2018)

Activities vehicles stopped and checked Section 56 Notices Issued


  • 69 Traffic Law Enforcement Activities
  • 32 Alcohol Operations
  • 6 Exodus Operations
  • 31 Speed Operations
23 645 2 643 74 Arrests:
  • 62 x Drunk Driving
  • 2 x Fraudulent Documentation
  • 2 x Used driver’s license that don’t belong to holder
  • 1 x Drug arrest (Dagga)
  • 1 x Drug arrest (Mandrax)
  • 1 x Goods overload arrest
  • 1 x Drunk pedestrian arrest
  • 1 x Pedestrian jaywalking
  • 1 x Reckless/Negligent Driving arrest
  • 2 x Obstructing Traffic Officer in the execution of his/her duties

Our efforts to make our roads safer are by no means over. Round-the-clock enforcement efforts and campaign activities continue across the province.

We are grateful for the partnerships that we have had with all law enforcement agencies as well as the citizens and visitors of this province during this Easter weekend: By working together, we are able to achieve more towards improving roads safety.

Media Enquiries: 

Siphesihle Dube
Spokesperson for the Minister of Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant
Cell: 084 233 3811
Tel: 021 483 8954
Fax: 021 483 2217