The increased cooperation and adherence to the rules by most motorists as well as intensified law enforcement operations are some of the reasons why Mpumalanga Province recorded a reduction in fatalities during the Festive Season.
Mpumalanga Province came second among other provinces in the country for reducing fatalities on crashes recorded between 01 December 2022 and 11 January 2023.
This is according to Minister of Transport, Mr. Fikile Mbalula during the tabling of the Festive Season Arrive Alive Report today (17 January 2023).
During the period, 144 people were killed in the province as compared to 189 deaths that were recorded in the 2021-2022 Festive Season, and this represents a reduction of 23,8%.
A reduction was also recorded in crashes and slight injuries. This Festive Season, the province recorded 727 crashes compared to the 745 that was recorded on the previous holiday season.
About 738 people sustained slight injuries, and in 2022-2023, 803 slight injuries were recorded. Serious injuries have increased by 34, resulting in 461.
Of the total number of people who died in these crashes, 54 of them were drivers, 47 passengers, and 41 pedestrians. Two cyclists are among the victims.
The number of fatalities with regard to pedestrians has increased by four, compared to the previous Festive Season.
The reporr also revealed that Municipality roads recorded a high number of crashes, followed by the N4 toll road, the R573 road, the N11, the N17, and the R35 roads.
Most of the crashes were as a result of pedestrians being hit by moving vehicles, which led to 41 fatalities from 185 crashes that were recorded.
Other factors include, head on collisions, side swipe collisions, loss of control of the driver while the vehicle is in motion, head and rear collisions, and dangerous overtaking.
Meanwhile, the traffic law enforcement officers stopped 151 660 vehicles in various law enforcement conducted during the Festive Season.
Nearly 44 000 of the stopped vehicles were heavy motor vehicles were processed at various weighbridges.
More than 28 000 summonses were issued to motorists for various offences such as overtaking on barrier line, traffic signal violations, excessive speeding, failure to display license disks, failure to wear aafety belts and inconsiderate driving among others.
A further 727 vehicles were impounded for defects, and some were grossly overloaded
Mpumalanga MEC for Community Safety, Security and Liaison, Vusi Shongwe says that although there were reductions in fatalities and crashes, the number of people who die on the road is still too high.
He mentions that the Department, together with its stakeholders, will continue to improve road safety strategies. He says that the increased law enforcement visibility has also contributed towards improving the situation.
He thanks the law enforcement officers who worked tirelessly during the holiday season, saying they need to continue with the same vigour even beyond the holiday season. He also praises all stakeholders, including the media, for their participation in government’s road safety initiatives.
“You must continue to show no mercy to any errant driver behaviour so that more lives are saved on the road. We also appreciate the motorists who behaved well because was it not for them the situation could have been worse. We want every person to become active agents of road safety by not only using the road safely but by also reporting any bad driver behaviour,” Shongwe adds.
On the other hand, the MEC believes that harsher punishing of traffic offenders offenders, a huge impact will be made in government’s road safety efforts. He therefore calls on law enforcers at all levels to ensure that errant and reckless drivers are punished.
Meanwhile, the MEC is also sending his heartfelt condolences to all the families who have lost their loved ones during the Festive Season. He also wishes those who may still be in various hospitals a speedy recovery.