MORE than 300 people have died on South Africa's national roads since January 1.
The Transport Department's preliminary reports show that 315 people - 90 drivers, 135 passengers and 90 pedestrians - have died as a result of 253 crashes.
Spokesperson Logan Maistry said yesterday that preliminary reports showed that 1115 people died on the roads from December 1 to December 31 last year.
There were 1348 deaths in 2008.
As part of the Arrive Alive road safety campaign 988 roadblocks were set up and 1,141447 vehicles and drivers stopped and checked, Maistry said.
He said 3939 drunk drivers were arrested across the country. Another 298 motorists were arrested for reckless and negligent driving, 155 drivers for overloading, and 186 public transport drivers for offences relating to public transport permits.
"There were 214 arrests for offences relating to driving licences and false documentation, 3305 un-roadworthy vehicles removed from the roads, including 1737 buses and taxis, 297000 motorists fined for speeding; and thousands of drivers also fined for non-wearing of seatbelts and other traffic offences," Maistry said.
According to the UN more than a million people are killed each year in road crashes around the world, Maistry said.
"The vast majority are in low and middle-income countries.
"In addition, some 50million people are severely injured."
Transport Minister Sbusiso Ndebele has called on vehicle manufacturers, public and private donors, non-governmental organisations, the religious sector, traffic experts - and victims of road crashes and families of those killed and injured in road crashes - to partner with the government to create safer roads.
"We must all do much more to reduce the economic and emotional devastation caused by road crashes and road deaths," he said.
"Road traffic deaths and injuries are preventable.
"The millions of people who use our roads every day deserve safer roads."