Multiple-Fatality Accidents On SA Roads Increasing

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Public holidays and the festive season are notorious for an increased number of road accidents and fatalities and despite the Covid-19 pandemic, 2022 is no different. 


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Public holidays and the festive season are notorious for an increased number of road accidents and fatalities and despite the Covid-19 pandemic, 2022 is no different.

Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, reported a 142% spike in road accidents with multiple fatalities at the midpoint of the festive season. From seven crashes in 2020, the number of road accidents with multiple fatalities increased to 17 this year.

The Minister said that they are seriously concerned about the high number of crashes where five or more people die in a single accident. The number of major crashes increased from 34 last year to 111 this year. He revealed that human error was the main cause of accidents on the roads

Mbalula added that the year on year road fatalities had declined from 848 in 2020 to 822 in 2022. This equates to a 3.1% decline in the number of fatalities. Passengers were most likely to perish in road accidents (35%) followed by pedestrians (34%) and drivers (26%).

Fatal crashes were more likely to occur at early hours of the morning or late hours at night with most taking place over weekends

“The vehicle types that had the most contribution to fatal crashes were minibuses, light delivery vehicles and trucks,” said Minister Mbalula.

Automobile Association of South Africa spokesperson, Layton Beard says the annual fatalities on South African roads are a tragedy and should be considered a national crises.

The festive season is also notorious for seeing an increase in traffic enforcement officials. Beard argues that this should not only be observed during the festive season but throughout the year. He adds a review committee that looked at traffic law enforcement found that South Africa needs double the amount of offices on the road than are currently available.

Beard disputes the sentiment that human error is the main cause for accidents on the roads. He believes that the country needs improved infrastructure on its roads.

“We need lights that work on major intersections. We need better road development. We need safer drivers so there's a need for better education not only of existing drivers but of drivers that are coming through younger drivers. We need better testing of drivers and need safer vehicles” declared Beard.

He warned that if this does not improve, the harrowing road accident statistics will remain the same for years to come.

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