Road death toll hits 600

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pretoria- Over 600 deaths have been recorded in the country as a result of crashes over the December month.

"According to preliminary reports, 619 deaths (169 drivers, 242 passengers and 208 pedestrians) were recorded on South African roads as a result of 478 fatal crashes, for the period 1 to 20 December," said the transport ministry on Monday.

The department said over 450 000 vehicles and drivers have so far been stopped and checked as part of the Festive Season Arrive Alive Road Safety Campaign.

Since 1 December, more than 2 500 drunk drivers have been arrested including a traffic officer, seven South African Police Service (SAPS) members and four South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members.

More than 150 motorists have been arrested for reckless and negligent driving. More than 1 000 un-roadworthy vehicles have been taken off the roads, including 250 buses and 200 taxis. Over 250 000 motorists were fined for speeding.

Transport Minister, Sibusiso Ndebele, has again warned road users to obey the rules of the road.

"We want to warn road users to obey all road rules or face the consequences of their actions. We also call upon each and every South African to partner with government in order to save families from the untimely trauma of road deaths. Road deaths are not accidents, but are avoidable and deadly incidents," said Ndebele.

He said road safety was everybody's responsibility while he also encouraged road users to report bad driving on 0861 400 800.