Pedestrian deaths increase over Easter

Authorities say 40 percent of those who lost their lives over the Easter weekend were pedestrians.

Authorities say 40 percent of those who lost their lives over the Easter weekend were pedestrians. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Transport said it was concerned at the high number of pedestrians who were killed on the country's roads.

At least 103 people lost their lives during the Easter weekend with more than 80 vehicle accidents reported.

Authorities said almost 40 percent of those who died were pedestrians.

"These are people who drink and walk, jaywalk or walk in dark areas without any reflective clothing on. We continue to encourage pedestrians to take extra precautionary measures."

The department says the death toll on the country's roads will continue to soar unless motorists change their attitudes.

Rikhotso says motorist behavior needs to change.

"Behaviour change is a key element of us achieving the success that we want to achieve."

He says the department cannot decrease the number of fatalities on its own and called for the establishment of a national movement on road safety.

The final report on this year's Easter road accident statistics is expected to be released later this week.

Meanwhile, Western Cape traffic authorities said eight people died on the province's roads over the Easter weekend.

This was down slightly from the same period last year when 14 deaths were recorded in the province.

The province's major roads saw heavy traffic volumes yesterday as thousands headed back home from their holidays.

Provincial traffic chief, Kenny Africa said it appeared most motorists behaved themselves.

"There wasn't a single taxi accident over the long weekend which shows that people are adhering to our calls to work together so we can all arrive alive."