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Road safety operations ‘must continue throughout the year’

The festive season road death toll shows a 14% rise in the number of people killed on the country’s roads.

FILE. Four people were killed in a head-on collision between several taxis between Laingsburg and Prince Albert on the N1 Highway on Monday 20 December 2015. Picture: Supplied.

PRETORIA - While the Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) agrees with government that there would have been more road deaths over the festive season if it weren't for increased traffic enforcement operations, it says these initiatives must continue throughout the year.

The Transport Department released the road death toll figures in Pretoria yesterday, which show a 14 percent rise in the number of people killed on the country's roads.

From the 1 December to Monday 11 January, 1,755 people were killed.

WATCH: Road carnage up by 14 percent compared to last year

JPSA's Howard Dembovsky says the lack of thorough law enforcement throughout the year contributes to the high death toll figures over the holiday periods.

"It's somewhat unreasonable to allow people to drive like hooligans for the majority of the year and them clamp down over the festive season and other holiday periods and expect them to behave themselves."

The AA's Layton Beard says risky driver behaviour is a major contributor to road crashes.

"Talking and texting on their cellphones, speeding, risky overtaking and drinking and driving… driver behaviour is a massive problem."

Meanwhile, the Transport Department wants the law changed so that traffic offences are considered more serious crimes by the courts.

LISTEN: An idea which could combat drunk driving in the Cape...