Peters: Road safety efforts paying off

The death toll declined by 35 percent this festive season compared to last year.

FILE: At least 677 people have died on the roads so far this month compared to last year's 917 fatalities. Pictures: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Efforts to reduce road fatalities over the festive season are finally paying off, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said on Wednesday.

The death toll declined by 35 percent this festive season, compared to the same period last year.

At least 677 people died on the roads so far this month compared to last year's 917 fatalities.

Light motor vehicles are responsible for 46 percent of fatal road crashes, while taxis account for nine percent of collisions.

Peters says motorists need to check whether their vehicles are roadworthy before heading off on their journey.

"Road safety is everybody's responsibility. Together, lets save lives and take South Africa forward."

The minister hopes the death toll won't increase dramatically as holidaymakers make their way home.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation earlier said most fatal crashes this festive season occurred in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Northern Cape saw the fewest deaths.

Meanwhile, Western Cape traffic officials say road fatalities in the province are continuing to climb.

A total of 96 people died on the province's roads since the start of December.

"The 96 people that died on our roads is too many," Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa said. "We would like our pedestrians and motorists to work with us to keep the figure down."