SHOCKING STATS: The Western Cape government has released its festive season road death statistics. Image: iStock
Cape Town - The festive season (December 1-31 2016) has seen road deaths in the Western Cape increase by one compared to the same period in 2015.
December 2016 saw 142 people killed on the province’s roads compared to 141 during the same period in 2015.
High rate of pedestrians killed
Statistics show that pedestrians remain the most vulnerable road user group on Western Cape roads. The department urges all motorists to be extra mindful of pedestrians, particularly at night when many pedestrians are likely to have consumed alcohol.
Pedestrians must be extra vigilant and ensure that they are highly visible to motorists at all times; that they steer clear of pedestrian no-go areas, namely highways, where it is not only dangerous for pedestrians to walk, but also illegal; and that they do not take to the roads after consuming alcohol.
Alcohol consumption and road use remain a deadly combination for all road users, particularly pedestrians.
Tranport MEC responds
According to Western Cape MEC of Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant: "Law enforcement officers have been fully dedicated to maintaining law and order over the first half of the festive season, and will continue to employ a no-nonsense approach as many people continue to make their way back into the province from their various holiday destinations.
"The focus areas for our law enforcement activities remain drink driving, speed, and most importantly at this time, fatigue management. Our festive season enforcement plan runs from December 1 to January 31."
READ: 682 speedsters, more than R400k in fines... WCape's shock New Year's weekend stats
Horror start to 2017
The first 8 day period of January 2017 have also brought with it a further increase in road deaths when compared to the same period last year, with a total of 41 lives already lost on our roads. New Year’s day saw an alarming 15 lives lost, 8 passengers, 5 pedestrians, and 2 drivers.
Bus vs. taxi
The highest fatalities were recorded on Christmas Eve, 24 December 2016, which was the day when an Intercape Bus and a minibus taxi collided head-on while travelling on the N1 between De Doorns and Worcester. That crash claimed a total of 13 lives.
This past December period also saw pedestrian deaths increase by 22% compared to the number for the same period in 2015. Pedestrian deaths have gone up from 49 deaths to 60 deaths, with an average of 2 pedestrians killed each day in December.
Enforcement statistics breakdown (December 2016):
• 147 K78 roadblocks were conducted across the province.
• 145 975 vehicles were stopped and checked.
• 33 309 of those were weighed at various weighbridges.
• 48 344 drivers were screened for alcohol, with 212 arrested for being over the legal limit.
• 19 drivers were arrested for excessive speeding.
• A total of 293 drivers were arrested for various transgressions.