This morning Transport Minister Dipuo Peters released the road fatality figures for the 2016/2017 festive period which showed a five percent increase in road deaths compared to 2015, with a whopping 1714 fatalities recorded.
The festive season brings with it an increase in alcohol consumption, with 65% of motorists who were arrested were arrested for drunken driving.
“We are working with the Justice Department to reclassify drunken driving from schedule 3 to schedule 5 to mete out harsher sentences,” Peters emphasised.
“18 drivers were arrested for driving at excessive speeds of between 182 km per hour to well above 200 km per hour,” Peters said.
The roads saw a number of head-on collisions contribute to the number of fatal accidents, including 11 people who were killed on the N1 south near Madimolle in Limpopo on December 4 last year after a truck and a Toyota Avanza collided.
Road worthiness of vehicles was also closely monitored, with 6805 un-roadworthy vehicles impounded.
An increasing risk of road accidents over the years has been the use of cell phones whilst driving. A staggering 4046 fines were issued to drivers in this respect.
Whilst there was a decline in fatalities in the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape and North-West, the Eastern Cape recorded 211 fatalities, a 20% reduction which was the biggest decline.
Limpopo recorded the highest fatalities with an increase of 31% moving from 186 fatalities to 244 fatalities.