News

Pedestrian deaths increase by 22% over December period

10 January 2017

Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works

The first half of the festive season (1 December to 31 December 2016) has seen road deaths in the Western Cape increase by one death compared to the same period in 2015. December 2016 saw 142 people killed on the province’s roads compared to the 141 people that died over the same period in 2015.

The highest fatalities were recorded on Christmas Eve, 24 December 2016, which was the day when an Intercape Bus and a minibus taxi collided head-on while travelling on the N1 between De Doorns and Worcester. That crash claimed a total of 13 lives.

   Class of Fatality

December 2015 

December 2016 

  Cyclist

1

1

Driver

28

18

Fell off vehicle

0

4

Motorcyclist

10

10

Other

4

1

Passenger

49

48

Pedestrian

49

60

TOTAL

141

142


This past December period also saw pedestrian deaths increase by 22% compared to the number for the same period in 2015. Pedestrian deaths have gone up from 49 deaths to 60 deaths, with an average of 2 pedestrians killed each day in December.

Over the same period, our Provincial Traffic Services have increased their enforcement efforts and stopped thousands of vehicles to conduct safety checks.

Enforcement Statistics Breakdown (December 2016):

  • 147 K78 roadblocks were conducted across the province.
  • 145 975 vehicles were stopped and checked.
  • 33 309 of those were weighed at various weighbridges.
  • 48 344 drivers were screened for alcohol, with 212 arrested for being over the legal limit.
  • 19 drivers were arrested for excessive speeding.
  • A total of 293 drivers were arrested for various transgressions.

Our traffic law enforcement officers have been fully dedicated to maintaining law and order over the first half of the festive season, and will continue to employ a no-nonsense approach as many people continue to make their way back into the province from their various holiday destinations.

The focus areas for our law enforcement activities remain drink driving, speed, and most importantly at this time, fatigue management.

Our festive season enforcement plan runs from 1 December to 31 January.

Statistics show that pedestrians remain the most vulnerable road user group on Western Cape roads. I continue to urge all motorists to be extra mindful of pedestrians, particularly at night when many pedestrians are likely to have consumed alcohol.

Pedestrians must be extra vigilant and ensure that they are highly visible to motorists at all times; that they steer clear of pedestrian no-go areas, namely highways, where it is not only dangerous for pedestrians to walk, but also illegal; and that they do not take to the roads after consuming alcohol.  Alcohol consumption and road use remain a deadly combination for all road users, particularly pedestrians.

Our roads safety initiative, Safely Home, has been running the “Ubuthakathi” television commercial which is part of our “Alcohol and Roads Don’t Mix” theme, focussing on pedestrians that are under the influence. The campaign is  live on the Safely Home website, www.safelyhome.westerncape.gov.za, twitter: @WCGovSafelyHome hashtag #BoozeFreeRoads, and is supported by radio advertisements on various leading radio stations, and VMS message boards on busy highways. #BoozeFreeRoads was specifically targeted at both motorists and pedestrians, with drinking and driving, as well as drinking and walking, both proving to be a deadly combination on our roads.

The campaign remains live for the next few months, continuing to convey this very important message to all road users.

The first 8 day period of January 2017 have also brought with it a further increase in road deaths when compared to the same period last year, with a total of 41 lives already lost on our roads. New Year’s day saw an alarming 15 lives lost, 8 passengers, 5 pedestrians, and 2 drivers.

Comparative Statistics (1 to 8 January 2016 vs 1 to 8 January 2017).

Class of Fatality

2016/01/01-08

2017/01/01-08

Cyclist

2

0

Driver

8

8

Fell off vehicle

 0

0

Motorcyclist

1

0

Other

0

3

Passenger

5

14

Pedestrian

15

16

TOTAL

31

41


As we move closer to the end of the festive season, I appeal to all road users to work with us as we make every effort to make our roads safer. I continue to urge all road users to be extra vigilant at all times, particularly when travelling late into the night with limited visibility. Horrific crashes and unnecessary deaths are entirely avoidable through responsible and considerate road use. I encourage all road users to be mindful of the dangers that exist on our roads, and to behave accordingly to ensure that both they and other road users are safe from harm.

Media Enquiries: 

Siphesihle Dube
Spokesperson for the Minister of Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant
Tel: 021 483 8954
Cell: 084 233 3811
Email: siphesihle.dube@westerncape.gov.za