14000 die a year on SA roads

MORE than 14 000 South Africans die in road accidents each year, which costs the country R14billion, Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele told the Make Roads Safe Africa 2009 conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

"Africa's road deaths, at more than 200 000 a year, are predicted to rise significantly by 2020 (when) the global road death toll is forecast to increase more than 45percent.

"By 2015 road crashes are predicted to be the leading cause of premature death and disability for children aged five and above.

"These statistics, inevitably, pose the question as to what should be done. A Decade of Action for Road Safety, to be launched by the UN in 2010, has been proposed."

Ndebele said 3400 people were killed every day walking, cycling or driving on roads , or 1,3million a year.

Most victims were young and healthy, in the prime of their lives, and often breadwinners, he said.