WC road deaths up from 2011

WC road deaths have increased by 35 percent from 2011.

A road accident on the N1 between Laingsburg and Beaufort West, 16 December 2012. Picture: Graeme Raubenheimer/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Transport Department said on Monday about five people lose their lives on provincial roads each day during the festive season.

Since the beginning of December, 89 people have already died on provincial roads compared to the 66 during the festive season last year.

This amounts to a 35 percent increase.

The department said another major concern is people not buckling up.

65 percent of drivers were caught not wearing their seatbelts during an operation carried out by traffic officials in Beaufort West.

Provincial Transport MEC Robin Carlisle said fatigue still plays a major role in road related accidents.

"Drivers persist with treating the rules of the road with disregard and fail to buckle themselves and their very vulnerable passengers up."

He said road campaigns have proven to be successful thus far.

"The long-distance taxis are now very used to this. We've pulled over 15,523 of them of which some of them have had their keys removed. We have the full backing of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco)."

Meanwhile, some Cape Town motorists said Carlisle's department should focus on road safety throughout the year, instead of intensifying efforts during the festive season alone.

On Monday the department launched its R50,000 Safely Home Reward campaign.

Two drivers, who go through the holiday season without getting a fine, get R25,000 each.

The initiative is aimed at rewarding motorists for good behaviour on the road.

This motorist said she doesn't think the campaign will reap any success.

"I don't think it's the right approach to try and bribe people into doing the right thing."

One motorist said he has witnessed many accidents involving drunk drivers.

"They should abide by the rules everyday without being rewarded for it."