'Drunk driving to blame for road carnage'

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has slammed drunk driving following the release of road death stats.

Dipuo Peters. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has blamed the high number of road deaths over the festive season on drunk and irresponsible motorists who ignore road rules.

Peters announced on Thursday close to 1,400 people had died on South Africa's roads during the festive season.

The figure is, however, down from the 2012/2013 festive season where 1,558 people died on local roads.

But Peters says the latest figure is cause for concern.

Meanwhile, Western Cape traffic authorities are gearing up for a busy weekend on the roads with scores of motorists expected to make their way home before schools open next week.

While the festive season has come to an end for most, officials say some people are still enjoying their final days of leave.

At least 129 people have died on the province's roads since 1 December, from the 153 deaths reported the year before.

Western Cape traffic's Donald Lackay says officers will be out in full force this weekend.

"We are expecting the last influx of vehicles over the weekend. We also want to caution them to use our roads very cautiously."