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Transport minister Sindisiwe Chikunga addresses the media at the N1 Grasmere toll gate. Picture: SUPPLIED
Transport minister Sindisiwe Chikunga addresses the media at the N1 Grasmere toll gate. Picture: SUPPLIED

The number of fatal crashes on SA’s roads over the past festive season declined a small 1.7% compared to a year ago, according to transport minister Sindisiwe Chikunga.

Speaking at the release of the statistics at the Grasmere toll plaza on Wednesday, Chikunga said 1,427 people died on the roads in the 2023/2024 festive season between December 1 and January 11, which was 25 less than the previous year.

She said there were 1,184 fatal crashes — a 2.3% decline on the 1,212 deaths in the 2022/2023 festive season. 

Most of those who died were aged 25 to 44, most of them males and 40.9% of those who died were pedestrians. Passengers accounted for 33.6%, drivers 24.6% and cyclists 0.8%.

Most crashes occurred from between December 1 and December 5, and between 7pm and 10pm. Human factors contributed to more than 80% of crashes.

Chikunga said the recent festive season was marked by heavy rain, which caused problems on the road.

“Some drivers didn’t modify their speed, which resulted in avoidable crashes. Some motorists drove over flooded bridges, which resulted in tragedy as their vehicles were washed away.”

She noted that although road deaths had almost levelled off, traffic volumes had grown, with about 13.1-million registered vehicles on SA roads at the start of the recent festive season campaign — a 168,000 increase from the year before.

She praised traffic authorities for maintaining high visibility, with more than 1.4-million vehicles stopped over the recent festive season.


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