Easter weekend road deaths spike following horror crash claiming eight lives
Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
This past Easter long weekend has seen a spike in the number of deaths recorded on Western Cape roads. The number of deaths has risen from 27 in 2018, to 38 this year. On Monday, 22 April 2018, eight people were killed in a gruesome crash on the R316 outside Napier when vehicles collided head-on. Of those killed, four were men and four were women. The crash brought the tally of those killed over this past Easter weekend to 38, the highest over the last 6 years.
Spikes in both passenger and pedestrian deaths were recorded over this past weekend. Passenger deaths went up from 6 last year, to 11 this year. Pedestrian deaths went up from 11 to 20 over the same period.
Of the 38 fatalities recorded over this past Easter weekend, 53% (20) were recorded in the City of Cape Town Metropolitan area.
Easter Fatality Statistics
The last six 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||18 April –22 April 2019|
|Class of Fatality|
The Easter period has become synonymous with extraordinary conditions on our roads; increased vehicle numbers and activity over a short period of time. In preparation, our Provincial Traffic Services and road safety campaign, Safely Home, held campaigns and conducted enforcement interventions in the hopes of increasing awareness, changing behaviour, and curbing unnecessary injury and death on our roads.
The Safely Home road safety campaign calendar theme for March and April is personal responsibility. The theme urges all road users to #BeTheChange that they want to see on Western Cape roads.
Enforcement Activities focussed on Driver Fatigue
Over the past Easter weekend, our enforcement efforts and interventions focussed on:
- Driver fatigue,
- Safety belts (particularly rear passengers),
- Vehicle fitness of all types of motor vehicles,
- Overloading control,
- Utilisation of mobile testing units,
- Speed enforcement,
- Alcohol enforcement through Random Breath Testing (RBT).
During the Driver Fatigue Management operations over the Easter Weekend (from 18 – 22 April 2019), a total of 3 376 public transport vehicles were recorded travelling on provincial routes. Of those 3 376, a total of 1 720 vehicles were stopped and checked, with 99 of those being requested to park and the drivers forced to take a break. We were fortunate to have the assistance of our EMS services to check for driver fitness over this past weekend.
No major public transport crashes were recorded over this past Easter weekend, which we believe to be as a result of our driver fatigue efforts focussed on public transport.
Comparative Easter Enforcement Statistics
|Vehicles Stopped||23 645||22 326|
|Alcohol Screenings||7 587||3 418|
|Section 56 notices issued||2 643||4 385|
Our efforts to make our roads safer are by no means over. Round-the-clock enforcement efforts and campaign activities continue across the province.
Throughout this past weekend, we remained committed to executing our law enforcement mission by conducting integrated traffic and road safety initiatives aimed at saving lives. While fatalities over this period were high, we continue to make progress and learn valuable lessons from data which helps us to adapt our approaches and strategies moving forward.
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. Our sincere thanks to the men and women in blue who worked day and night to make our roads safer for the all road users.