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2012-01-17 07:17

ANOTHER STATISTIC: More deaths and injuries on the roads this Christmas than in 2011.

PRETORIA - At least 1475 people were killed on South African roads during the year-end holiday from December 1, 2011 to January 10, 2012.

On an average daily  basis, however, that's about five fewer than the full year's daily figure.

Transport minister S'bu Ndebele reported the figure, supplied by the Road Traffic Management Corporation. There were 1230 fatal crashes. The data supplied to him indicated that the most common causes of crashes were speeding in bad weather, reckless and inconsiderate driving and alcoholic inebriation.

LOTS OF BLAME

"Not wearing a seat belt was a major contributor to deaths and serious injuries," Ndebele alleged. "Emergency services personnel can testify that far too many people die because they don't buckle in."

Fatigue (especially among bus and taxi drivers), unroadworthy vehicles and pedestrian negligence were also blamed.

Deaths during the same period a year earlier were 1704, up from the 1551 initially announced by the minister during his annual report.

Predictably, the minister said the focus for 2012 would be on reducing the death rate.

About 40 people are killed on South African roads every day. The daily average during the holiday was 35.

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