This is an increase of 14% from last seasons’s figures of 1 535, gathered between 1 December 2014 and 5 January 2015.
There were 1 387 fatal crashes this season, an increase of 11% on last year’s 1 253. The Western Cape recorded the highest increase (33%) in deaths, from 122 last season to 162, followed by North West Province, which saw an increase of 26%, from 108 to 136 fatalities.
Other provinces also showed large increases in fatalities: Gauteng (10%), Eastern Cape (22%), Free State (20%), Mpumalanga (16%), Limpopo (12%) and the Northern Cape (19%). The only province to show a decline was KwaZulu-Natal (-2%).
Around 17% of the fatalities were drivers between the ages of 25 and 34, while 8,8% were drivers aged between 20 and 24.
Peters said that 4,4% of the passengers who died were between the ages of 0 and 4, while 14,6% were aged between 25 and 29.
Small vehicles accounted for 47,9% of total crashes, while light delivery vehicles accounted for 22,7%. Minibuses and Combis accounted for 10,1% and trucks 4,8%.
Most fatal crashes occurred on Fridays (18,8%), Saturdays (22,2%) and Sundays (16,9%). Men made up 74,4% of those killed and women 25,2%. Around 0,4 % of the victims were burnt beyond recognition and their gender could not be identified.
The statistics revealed that 38,3% of those who died were passengers, followed by pedestrians at 34,9%. Drivers contributed to 23,9% of the fatalities and cyclists 2,8%.
Not wearing seatbelts, and texting while driving were major concerns.
Peters said that some people tended to spend more money on sound systems for their vehicles than on safety measures.
“Every car with a child under the age of three should have a seat for the child in the back.”
She said she was disappointed by some traffic officers who were caught on the wrong side of the law. Two officers from the North West Province and one from Gauteng were caught allegedly soliciting bribes.
Over the period under review 1,7 million vehicles were pulled over and checked, more than 6 000 motorists were arrested for driving under the influence, and 808 were arrested for speeding. A total of 5 710 unroadworthy vehicles were taken off the roads.