‘Pedestrians a key factor in 14% holiday road death increase'

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters released the festive season road death statistics at a briefing today.

FILE: A fatal collision scene in the Western Cape. Picture: Twitter @ER24EMS

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Dipuo Peters says pedestrians and jaywalking in particular were the major contributors to the number of people killed on the country's roads this festive season.

The minister released the statistics at a briefing in Pretoria today, which saw a 14 percent rise in the number of deaths to 1,755.

The period under review started on 1 December last year and ended on Monday, six days longer the previous year.

Peters says pedestrian deaths have contributed considerably to the overall death toll.

"People crossing the street, freeways and roads wherever they want, high speeds, overtaking in the face of oncoming traffic and driving under the influence of alcohol have contributed."

She says unroadworthy vehicles also contributed to the number of crashes.

"Key to the vehicle factors that contributed to the crashes were tyre bursts, faulty brakes and smooth tyres, while environmental factors included sharp bends, wet surfaces and poor visibility."

Peters says plans are in place to implement mandatory minimum sentences for serious road traffic offences.