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Road deaths: SA is not alone

2013-05-06 13:33

GLOBAL TOLL ON THE RISE: SA isn't the only country struggling with a climbing road death toll. According to a statement made in the US on Friday (May 3, 2013) traffic death figures has risen by 5.3% since 2008 in the country. Image: Wheels2

WASHINGTON - South Africa isn’t the only country constantly battling to bring down road-death figures; the US also has a tough problem.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a 2013 report released on May 3 that its initial tally found 34 080 people died in road collisions, up 5.3% and thefirst increase since 2008.

In South Africa, the road death toll during the 2011/2012 festive season alone stood at 1475 and 241 people died during the 2013 Easter long weekend, according to transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele. Some sources say our road death toll is around 20 000 a year.

Problem is, the US has SIX TIMES the population of South Africa but a road-death rate only 2.7 times greater than that of SA.

CLIMBING STATS

Although significantly low compared to the rest of the world, the UK’s death toll was also up in 2012. The UK’s department of transport's 2012 figures show 3% more people died - from 1850 fatalities in 2010 to 1901 in 2011.
 
According to Detroit News writer David Shepardson said the most road deaths was in 2005 when 43 510 people died, meaning road deaths are down 26% since then. The lowest figure was recorded in 2011 - at 32 367, a 60-year-low.

The Governors Highway Safety Association spokesperson said the news was disappointing. "The news, while disheartening, is not surprising. With the improving economy and historically low levels of motor vehicle deaths in recent years, we expected deaths to increase.”

“Highway deaths have been declining significantly in recent years and even with today's projection are dramatically lower than five or 10 years ago."

ALARMING RATE

The spokesman added that motorcycle deaths were: the GHSA is projecting that about 5000 riders died in 2012 - about 14.7% of all traffic fatalities and the worst yet.

According to the Detroit News, some of the fatalities could be linked to the unseasonably warm winter during 2012 with traffic deaths rising to 12.6% within the first three months of the year.
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