Dept: December road death toll down

Officials said 25 fewer deaths and 50 fewer crashes were reported on SA roads.

FILE: Traffic was backed up due to an accident where nine people were burnt beyond recognition. Picture: Twitter @EWNTraffic.

JOHANNESBURG - There were 25 fewer deaths and 50 fewer crashes on the country's roads during the December period compared to the same month in 2013, the Department of Transport said on Monday.

Traffic volumes are expected to increase on long-distance routes from Monday as holidaymakers head home.

At least 1,143 people were killed in nearly 980 fatal crashes over December.

Officials appealed to motorists to remain vigilant.

Department spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said, "Since the beginning of the festive season, we've seen an overall decrease in fatal crashes."

Metro police officials on Sunday said they'd be on high alert as Gauteng motorists made their way back to the province.

Around 137 deaths were reported on Gauteng roads.