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Easter road deaths drop by 48%

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande said 162 people died on South Africa's roads during the 2019 Easter period compared with 309 fatalities in 2018.

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande briefing the media on the preliminary Easter road safety report on 2 May 2019. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Blade Nzimande has announced 162 people died on South Africa's roads during the Easter period.

It was a 48% reduction compared to last year when 309 people were killed over the same long weekend.

The department's preliminary report covered the period between 18 and 22 April.

The minister said 807 drivers were arrested for drunken driving and 192 for speeding.

He added that male drivers contributed to 72% of crashes and female drivers recorded 15% in crashes.

Nzimande said the almost 50% decline in road fatalities this year was partly the result of law enforcement agencies coming together and increasing visibility on major routes.

He said statistics showed that all provinces recorded decreases in the number of fatalities during the Easter long weekend.

Nzimande said this could be attributed to a number of interventions.

“Yes, we want to concede that the fact the Easter weekend was separate from the school holidays contributed immensely on our roads, which is something - as government - we’ll look into going forward.”

The minister said there were also fewer cars on the roads compared to last year due to Easter and school holidays being spilt.

The minister said they were working to replicate these interventions to further curb the road carnage.