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2015-02-26 08:52

CRUMBLY AUTOBAHN: Despite the deterioration off Germany's high-speed highways the number of road deaths remains low. Image: Shutterstock.

BERLIN, Germany - The number of people killed on Germany's roads edged higher in 2014 but the tally was still the second-lowest in 65 years.

The Federal Statistical Office said on February 25 2015 that the overall death toll climbed to 3368 in 2014, 0.9% more than in 2013 when the total was 3339 in 2013, the least since 1950.

South Africa's death toll has no accurate figures, but is calculated to be around 30 000.

The low number of deaths on German roads was recorded despite drivers being able to hurtle along about half of the 12 800km of autobahn at whatever speed they want.*

INJURIES TOLL, HOWEVER, IS UP

It also came against the backdrop of a sharp increase in traffic over the past six decades and more recently concerns about the run-down state of the autobahn.

The number of people injured in road incidents rose by four percent to about 389 000 in 2014.

*German law prescribes, however, that at all times cars must be under control. In 2013, autobahns carried 31% of motorised road traffic while accounting for only 13% of Germany traffic deaths. The autobahn fatality rate of 1.9 deaths/billion travelled kilometres compared favourably with the 4.7 rate on urban streets and 6.6 on rural roads.

Which suggests that it is the standard of driving that counts, not the speed - which tells its own tale about South African drivers and how useful money-making speed traps actually are.

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