Passenger Deaths Down by 70% Despite Horror Crashes at Start of Festive Season
Media Statement by Minister of Transport and Public Works, Robin Carlisle
The first 16 days (1 December to 16 December 2013) of the festive season have seen 66 deaths on our roads, compared to the 89 lives lost for the same period last year; this is a 26% reduction in road deaths compared to last year at this time.
While this number remains unacceptably high, the reduction shows that our ongoing efforts and initiatives are making tremendous progress in changing behaviour and saving lives on our roads.
In November this year, Safely Home launched the It Takes A Second To Save A Life multimedia seatbelts campaign targeted at vehicle occupants (passengers and drivers). Its aim being to encourage all vehicle occupants to buckle up, improve seatbelt compliance and reduce the high number of deaths we have seen in these categories in the past year.
Notwithstanding a very bloody past weekend on our roads, we are already beginning to see the positive results of this campaign:
- Passenger fatalities are down from 59 at this time last year, to 18 this year; a resounding 70% decrease.
- Driver deaths are down from 27 at this time last year, to 14 this year; a 48% decrease.
Pedestrian deaths remain the leading class of fatalities thus far at 30 deaths, which is still a 45% decrease from the 55 pedestrian deaths recorded last year at this time throughout the province.
The focus areas for our law enforcement partners remain drink driving, speed, and most importantly at this time, fatigue management.
The horror crashes we see on our roads, particularly on the long stretches like the N1 and the N2, can no doubt be attributed to one (if not all) of these contributing factors. Motorists travelling long distances will be pulled over and made to rest if they are deemed to be fatigued while on their journeys.
The campaign that was initially targeted at long-distance public transport has, since last December, been extended to all classes of vehicles. We will continue to be tough on all motorists who do not comply with road rules that are aimed at saving the lives of all those who share these roads and rely on them to get to their holiday destinations.
We are also very confident that we will continue to see a decrease in road deaths and speed non-compliance brought about by our Average Speed Over Distance (ASOD) camera enforcement technology; the technology that we have (in recent months) extended to cover a total of 351.5 km of the province’s most dangerous roads.
The ASOD system now includes:
- October 2011: R61 from Beaufort West to Aberdeen covering 71.6 km.
- December 2012: N1 from Beaufort West to Three Sisters covering 31.7 km.
- October 2013: R27 West Coast covering 57.2km.
- December 2013: N1 from Laingsburg up to Beaufort West covering a total of 190.6 km
We are now, as we have always been, committed to the realisation of the Safely Home goal of reducing road deaths by 50% by the end of 2014, and we will continue to new and innovative ways to achieving this goal.
We maintain that the only way we will continue to move closer and closer to realising that target will be through partnerships with all our road safety partners; the most important of whom being the many road users of this province, whose responsible road use continues to save the many lives that may otherwise have been lost on our roads.
Spokesperson for the Minister of Transport and Public Works, Robin Carlisle
Tel: 021 483 8954
Fax: 021 483 2217
Cell: 084 233 3811