1714 lives were claimed on South African roads over the festive season.
This is according to Transport Minister, Dipuo Peters‚ who announced the statistics on Tuesday‚ saying many families had been “confronted with agony‚ misery and pain caused by irresponsible driving”.
The minister said there had been an increase of more than 250 000 vehicles on the roads. She said the combination of back-to-back long weekends‚ rain and irresponsible driving was to blame for the high number of road fatalities‚ with 75% of those killed being men.
Peters said the department has made a decision to clamp down on bribery and corruption in an effort to address driver competence.
Peters announced that audits would be done on licensing centres as there had been an “influx of incompetent drivers”.
“If you got your learner’s or driver’s licence through dubious means‚ know that you will soon lose it‚” Peters said.
The minister said 432 road blocks were conducted over the festive season‚ which saw more than 450 000 fines issued for a range of offences including reckless and negligent driving‚ talking on the cell phone and unroadworthiness.
Further‚ more than 9000 people were arrested‚ with 18 people arrested for driving in excess of 181km/h.
The highest recorded speed was was 239km/h on the R21 in Gauteng.
Peters congratulated the Eastern Cape‚ Western Cape‚ Northern Cape and the North West as the provinces which showed a decrease in road fatalities.
“It can be done and we can win this battle‚” she said.