690 people died on SA’s roads since December started - Mbalula

The Department of Transport has set a target to ensure a 20% decline in fatalities this festive season.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on 22 December 2020 released the 2020 festive season preliminary road statistics. Picture: @TrafficRTMC/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said 690 people had died on the country’s roads since the beginning of December.

That is about 5% decline compared to last year.

Mbalula briefed the media in Pretoria on Tuesday morning, saying the slight decline in road fatalities was nothing to celebrate.

“It is regrettable that 690 people lost their lives on our roads over the period 1 to 20 December 2020, compared to 732 over the same period in 2019. While this represents a 5.7% decline year-on-year, it is no reason to celebrate,” the minister said.

The Department of Transport has set a target to ensure a 20% decline in fatalities this festive season.

“While it is encouraging to see a decline in fatalities to date, we are still a long way from achieving the 20% target we have set for ourselves this year. I urge all road users to exercise extreme caution as we enter the second phase of our peak travel period,” Mbalula said.

He said a total of 416 roadblocks were set up from 1 to 20 December across the country.

“A total of 109,529 motorists were issued with traffic fines for various offences. On the other hand, a total of 2,415 vehicles were discontinued, while another 1,801 vehicles were impounded.”

WC ROADBLOCKS

At the same time, the Western Cape Transport Department is on Tuesday hard at work trying to keep roads safe.

Over recent days, the province’s traffic services staged 70 roadblocks.

More than 4,900 fines were issued for various traffic violations ranging from driver to vehicle fitness amounting to over R5 million.

The department’s spokesperson Jandré Bakker said 25 crashes occurred in the province and 29 fatalities were recorded between last week Monday to Sunday.

“There has been a steady increase of COVID-19 cases in the Western Cape and other provinces over the last few weeks. If you’re planning to travel over the festive season, wear your mask over your nose and mouth at all times in any public transport vehicle,” he said.

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