'Festive' death toll on the up
UNHAPPY HOLIDAYS: It seems all the safety campaigns that were launched before the festive season have fallen on deaf ears as the road death toll is rising.
National transport minister Ben Martins has urged people driving on South Africa's roads during the 2012 holiday season to prioritise life above personal convenience.
The department said: "Martins says if every driver aimed to save a life every time they got into their vehicle the nation would make considerable progress in the fight against road carnage.
"765 people have since been certified dead on our roads since the beginning (Dec 1-23 2012). He sends his and the government's heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed."
Martins said despite all efforts by the private sector and civil society to reduce road deaths South Africa continues to see lives lost on its roads and often the situations that cause the fatalities and crashes could have been avoided.
"17 of the major crashes we have recorded since December 1 were head-on collisions due to dangerous overtaking."
And 46% of deaths were pedestrians.
The minister believes it unacceptable that lives continue to be lost despite efforts to raise road-safety awareness.
"We need a 180-degree turn in drivers' attitudes if we are to succeed. People need to rethink their responsibilities towards a safe and sustainable society."
He called on all traffic officers to deal decisively with reckless and negligent road behaviour - and corrupt traffic officers would not be tolerated.
"Any act of dereliction of duty on the part of any officer has potential consequences, sometimes even fatal."