Today national Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele officially released the accident and death states from the festive season. It makes for scary reading.
The number of deaths has decreased from last year – by about 200 deaths. But it’s still more than 1 500 people who died.
As scary as the numbers are, we need to remember that people are not statistics. These are mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers, friends… We need to get the number of deaths down. Swiftly.
Here’s the summary of the stats:
- Between 1 December 2010 and 8 January 2011, 1 221 fatal crashes had occurred resulting in 1 551 fatalities (but we can expect this number to increase – as they did last year – when the final numbers are tallied). This is down from 1 761 last year.
- 852 roadblocks were set up country-wide, where a total of 1 608 548 vehicles were stopped and checked;
- 5822 vehicles being impounded / suspended / discontinued;
- 9 182 drivers were arrested – 3 332 arrested for drunk driving, 100 for reckless driving, 415 for excessive speed, 23 for overloading;
- 553 189 fines issued for various offences.
The two worst crashes were in KZN, one where two taxies collided on December 23, killing 20 people. The other involving a taxi which overturned, killing 11. More accidents took place in KZN than any other province. It’s frightening.
Now I have no idea what can be done – except this.
Drive properly. Don’t speed. Don’t over-take when it’s not safe to do so. Make sure your car is roadworthy. And most importantly… DON’T BE AN IDIOT!