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Minister pushing for harsher sentences on negligent drivers

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters says work is being done to finalise and introduce minimum sentences for negligent and reckless driving.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters (centre) briefing the media about the Festive Season road deaths for 2016. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Dipuo Peters says numerous interventions will be implemented to decrease the number of fatalities over the next festive period which includes the tightening of cross border operations.

Peters announced the preliminary figures for the holiday season today confirming that 1,714 people were killed on the country's roads.

She says there are engagements with the Justice Department to finalise and introduce minimum sentences for negligent and reckless driving.

“We are seeking to reclassify drunken driving from schedule three which is less severe, to a more severe schedule five offence to ensure that those who negligently cause crashes on the road do not get bail easily and spend time behind bars.”

The Transport Minister says cross border operations will also be strengthened.

“The arrest of the mini-bus driver from Zimbabwe who had 31 passengers in his vehicle points to the need to strengthen cooperation with our counterparts in the neighbouring states.”

She says their road safety campaigns will continue with the same momentum throughout the year.

(Edited by Neo Koza)