765 killed on SA roads so far
A total of 765 people have been killed on SA roads so far this month, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has said.
“The preliminary festive season statistics as reported by the SA Police Service from December 1 2012 to December 21 2012 is 765 fatalities from 638 fatal crashes,” said RTMC spokesman Ashref Ismail today.
Seventeen of the accidents were considered major fatal crashes.
“A major fatal crash is defined as a crash in which five or more people were killed in a single incident.”
He said eleven of these major fatal accidents had been head-on-collisions.
“The chances of surviving such crashes at any speed are very slim.”
Ismail said the main factors behind road accidents were excessive speed, dangerous overtaking, drinking and driving and pedestrians who were drinking and then went walking.
In 2011, 1 771 people died as a result of 1 316 road accidents that took place between December 1 to January 10 2012.
The previous year, 1 551 people had died in the same period.
The RTMC had hoped to reduce the number of road casualties this year by 25%.
“Given the preliminary figures, all indications are that this target will not be met.”
Nevertheless, the RTMC hoped to come as close to the target as possible.
Meanwhile, traffic volumes across the country were expected to peak this afternoon as South Africans made their way to holiday destinations.
Ismail said about 1 500 to 1 800 vehicles were travelling towards Polokwane from Gauteng.
High traffic volumes were also expected on the N3 in the direction of Durban and on the N1 from Mangaung to Cape Town.
Ismail said people must be patient if stopped at a road block as these were there to check the safety of vehicles, drivers’ competence and to prevent drinking and driving.