The Free State Department of Police, Roads and Transport says it agrees with the recent analysis from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) that has pointed fingers at motorists from neighboring countries to have played a huge role in the increased provincial road fatalities statistics.
The departmental spokesperson, Hillary Mophete, told Bloemfontein Courant her department did warn and raise concern about this in December 2018 following one of the major crashes in which five people died.
Mophete says according to the latest report by the Minister of Transport, Blade Nzimande, the province is the third worst affected by such incidences of collision that took place at Bloemspruit, Tierpoort, Clocolan and Tweespruit.
“According to a preliminary report the Free State Province has recorded an increase of 28% moving from 124 fatalities in the previous year to 159 this year and puts the province amongst the highest recorded increase after the Eastern Cape,” said Mophete.
She says this increase was caused by the involvement of trucks and minibuses in horrific road crashes by mid-season in December. Mophete adds that all these incidences show that drivers from neighbouring countries were involved in serious and flagrant violations of road traffic rules by excessively overloading their vehicles and driving unroadworthy vehicles. “Secondly, most carnages were caused by human behaviour such as alcohol and substance abuse, reckless and negligent driving, amongst others.
“Government will continue to partner with youth formations, interfaith community, road freight associations and the taxi industry to spread the culture of responsible road use and will employ the model of the “Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020” to achieve a 50% decrease of road crashes and fatalities by 2020,” Mophete concluded.