Easter death toll drops

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pretoria - The Easter road death toll has been reduced by almost half the number of deaths for the same period last year.

According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation's (RTMC) preliminary figures, there has been 147 deaths during this Easter weekend compared to the 297 deaths in 2008.

"Since 9 April 2009, 136 crashes have been reported and these resulted in the deaths of 147 road users," the RTMC said on Tuesday.

Of the 147 fatalities, 39 were drivers, 60 passengers and 48 pedestrians.

According to the RTMC, the highest number of deaths recorded this year was in Limpopo with 26 fatalities.

Twenty-two people died in KwaZulu-Natal, 20 each in Mpumalanga and the North West and 18 in the Free State.

Seventeen died in the Eastern Cape, 16 in Gauteng, six in the Western Cape, and two deaths were recorded in the Northern Cape.

According to RTMC spokesperson, Ntau Letebele, the reduction was due to the special operations that were planned on national roads leading to Gauteng, the N1 from Polokwane, N1 from Bloemfontein, N4 from Nelspruit and N3 from Durban.

"Driver behaviour had improved tremendously. Focus was on both drivers and vehicle fitness," he said, adding that tough actions were taken against those who broke the law.

Mr Letebele said he was confident that even when the final figures are released this week, they will still indicate a drop in the death toll.