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Festive season sees 14% increase in road deaths

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters says there were 220 more deaths this year.

An accident scene in Kimberley. Picture: er24.co.za

PRETORIA - Transport Minister Dipuo Peters says that from 1 December 2015 to 11 January 2016, there were 1,253 crashes, up by 11 percent since the previous period.

The minister is briefing the media on the road dead statistics for the festive season period this year, 1 December 2015 to 11 January 2016.

She says corruption continues to rear its ugly head at driver and vehicle testing centres and has extended appreciation to road traffic police, as well as South African Police Service members and emergency services for their continued efforts.

The minister says half of the road crashes involved light vehicles and light delivery vehicles, which formed about 20 percent while taxis make up another 10 percent.

She says the majority of deaths, at 38 percent, were passengers while drivers made up 23 percent.

Peters says most crashes took place over the weekend, adding that human factors were the major contributors to road crashes; J-walking, dangerous overtaking and drunk driving.

She says there were 220 more deaths this year, up by 14 percent, to 1755 killed.

While the minister has noted that the festive season period this year was six days longer - last year's period ended on 6 January - she says the ease at which speeding motorists are granted bail sends the wrong message.