Visible policing helps reduce road deaths

The number of road deaths over the Easter period is down for the first time in three years.

FILE: A total of 140 accidents were recorded by the Road Traffic Management Corporation over the Easter period. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Transport said visible policing played a major role in reducing the number of road deaths over the Easter period.

Around 193 people were killed with the highest number of fatalities recorded in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

A total of 140 accidents were recorded by the Road Traffic Management Corporation(RTMC)over the same period.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters released the preliminary figures in Pretoria on Wednesday afternoon.

Peters said the department's road safety campaigns are starting to yield results.

"Our efforts in law enforcement are yielding some positive outcomes."

Peters said the department is working hard to halve the number of fatalities by 2020.

"The road towards halving fatalities by 2020 to what it was in 2011 is a long one laced with many challenges."

The department also said a minimum of 10,000 drivers will be screened for alcohol every month as part of a new road safety campaign.

Alcohol and substance abuse were found to be the leading causes for deaths on South Africa's roads during the Easter weekend.

Peters said this calls for drastic action.

"The RTMC, in conjunction with provinces and municipalities, will usher in a new national rolling enforcement plan as part of the 'Make Roads Safe Campaign' in line with the 365 days for road safety approach."

The total number of deaths is down from the previous three years.

In 2013, 241 people died over the same period, while 217 died in 2012 and 214 in 2011.

A total of 2,041 people died on South African roads in 2013.