Some 1358 road deaths have been recorded since December 2010, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said on Wednesday.
“The preliminary statistics for people who died on our roads since 1 December 2010 until 4th January 2011 is 1358 out of 1133 fatal crashes,” RTMC acting CEO Collins Letsoalo said in a statement. This was a drop from last year’s 1548 deaths out of 1204 fatal crashes during the same period.
The main causes of accidents were speeding, tyre failure, fatigue, and drinking and driving, or drinking and walking.
“This weekend will see the major, final exodus of motorists from various holiday destinations ahead of the re-opening of schools and industries next week. Traffic authorities will be out in full force to curb errant motorists,” said Letsoalo.
More than 7000 people have been arrested for drinking and driving, reckless and negligent driving, speeding, overloading of public passenger transport vehicles, fraudulent documentation, stolen items and bribery. Close to 4.5 million vehicles and drivers had been checked and more than two million fines issued around the country since October 1. Over 26,000 vehicles were impounded or taken off the road for being grossly unroadworthy or not having the correct public transport documentation.
“Motorists should be aware that while the festive season is nearing the end, the campaign will continue as a year-round campaign. We will continue to maintain a high presence to ensure that we reduce the offence rate by 50 percent. This will then bring down the casualty rate,” said Letsoalo.
Preventing drinking and driving had been identified as a key focal area for 2011 and regular blitzes, roadblocks and patrols by marked and unmarked vehicles would help remove drunken drivers and pedestrians from the road.