Cop vigilance halves road deaths

The festive season road accident death toll to date is down to 774 fatalities compared with last year's 1474, the Department of Transport said yesterday.

The festive season road accident death toll to date is down to 774 fatalities compared with last year's 1474, the Department of Transport said yesterday.

"A total of 774 people have died from 596 reported crashes on our roads," spokesman Collen Msibi said.

"The decrease is attributed to heightened enforcement operations and heavy traffic police presence on our roads since the start of the festive season."

Of those who died on South African roads 222 were drivers, 307 passengers and 245 pedestrians.

KwaZulu-Natal recorded the most fatalities at 144, followed by Limpopo with 129 fatalities, Gauteng with 117 and Mpumalanga with 107.

Free State recorded 74 fatalities, the Eastern Cape 65 and the Western Cape 62.

North West recorded 51 deaths on the roads while the Northern Cape apparently had the safest roads with 25 fatalities.

Msibi said most of the accidents were due to speeding and disobeying road laws.

"With New Year's Day around the corner plans are being sharpened to deal with all forms of reckless driving and suspected drunken driving cases.

"If found under the influence of alcohol you have no option of paying a fine until you have sobered up and appeared in court."

The department said it encouraged passengers to wear seat belts, drivers to slow down, to not overtake other vehicles recklessly and to take care when visibility was low at night. - Sapa

X