THE MEC for Police, Roads and Transport in the Free State, Butana Komphela, issued a stern warning to motorists to obey road traffic laws during the coming Easter weekend and other long weekends.
Provincial law enforcement officers will be in full force on all provincial and national roads in the Free State to make sure motorists adhere to traffic laws and regulations. Those who disobey road rules will face the full might of the law.
Since the beginning of the year a number of accidents have been reported on our roads and the very tragic accident was on the N1 between Bloemfontein and Edenburg on 30 March where six family members died in a head-on collision. This accident is a grim reminder of the dangers motorists and passengers may encounter while travelling on the road.
According to official statistics by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) the total cost of crashes in South Africa is a massive R307-billion per annum and about 14 000 people per annum – that is almost 40 people every day – die in road crashes.
There is still an alarmingly high number of 57 (2011/2012) head-on collisions annually. This usually goes hand-in-hand with crashes that were the result of human error.
The following were found to be the leading human factors for fatal accidents: driver failing to keep proper lookout, driver cannot keep vehicle under control and overtaking in unsafe conditions. Statistics also shows a high incidence of vehicle overturning. Although human factors can be blamed, motorists should definitely pay more attention to the leading factors regarding vehicles, namely tyre bursts and vehicle maintenance.
MOST VULNERABLE ROAD USERS
• 80% of the fatalities are adult and male in the age category of 19 – 34 years;
• just under 40% of fatalities comprise pedestrians in urban and rural areas;
• new and inexperienced drivers (between ages of 25 – 34) are most susceptible;
• Regarding passengers, the majority of fatalities are females who rely on public transport, and
• Children are very vulnerable both as pedestrians and passengers.
The percentage of fatal crashes per time of day shows that the most dangerous time to be on the road is between 19:00 and 20:00. Saturdays and Sundays are the days with the most fatal crashes reported.