First Major Crash of Festive Season Claims 10 Lives
Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
Early this morning, a multiple vehicle crash on the N1 between Leeu Gamka and Beaufort West claimed the lives of 10 people (7 adults and 3 children). Two people were killed in a light delivery vehicle, while another 8 people were killed in a mini-bus taxi during the collision. Eight people sustained minor to serious injuries.
The cause of the crash is not yet known, but early indications suggest that fatigue may have played a role in this horrific crash. The South African Police Service and the Road Traffic Management Corporation are investigating the crash, and Provincial Traffic Services will be assisting with the investigation. The N1 was reopened early this morning after the crash had been cleared.
On behalf of the Western Cape Government, I should like to extend my deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in this horrific crash, and wish the injured a speedy recovery.
The first 20 days (December 1st to December 20th 2014) of the festive season continue to see slight decreases in the number of fatalities on Western Cape roads compared to the figures for the same time last year. Comparative road deaths are down 11% from 85 in 2013 to 76 deaths so far this December
However, pedestrian deaths continue to rise, with 42 pedestrians killed in the last 20 days, compared to 38 pedestrian deaths over the same period last year.
Comparative Road Deaths for first 20 days of December:
December 2013 (85 fatalities):
- Cyclist: 2
- Driver: 18
- Motor-cyclist: 7
- Passenger: 20
- Pedestrian: 38
December 2014 (76 fatalities):
- Cyclist: 2
- Driver: 11
- Motor-cyclist: 6
- Passenger: 15
- Pedestrian: 42
I urge all motorists travelling long distances to rest at appropriate times to ensure that the deadly effects of fatigue do not creep in and ruin their journeys. The focus areas for our law enforcement partners remain drink driving, speed, and most importantly at this time, fatigue management.
The horrific 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. I encourage all road users to be extra vigilant during this time and mindful of all these factors as they take to the roads during this busy time.