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Over the festive season holidays, 40 people were killed on Joburg roads. They were among the almost 1 500 killed countrywide.
WITH most Joburgers back to their usual daily routines after the festive season, those who lost their lives over the holidays should not be forgotten.

JMPD spokesperson Wayne MinnaarJMPD spokesperson Wayne MinnaarIn Johannesburg in December, 40 people lost their lives, while countrywide the number of road deaths in December and January was 1 475.

The Johannesburg metro police department spokesman, Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar, said that in December, 36 accidents were reported and attributed to reckless and bad driving, alcohol and speeding. In those accidents, 10 drivers, 15 passengers and 15 pedestrians were killed.

Preliminary figures from the Road Traffic Management Corporation are that there were 1 230 fatal crashes on the country’s roads between 1 December 2011 and 10 January.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said: “The most common causes of the crashes during the 2011/12 festive period included speeding in unfriendly weather conditions, reckless and inconsiderate driving, and abuse of alcohol by drivers and pedestrians.”

He added: “The non-wearing of seatbelts has been found to be a major contributor to fatalities or serious injuries. Emergency services personnel can testify that far too many people have been killed due to not buckling up.”
Additional factors included fatigue, especially among public transport drivers, lack of vehicle fitness, and pedestrian negligence, he said.

The number of fatalities for the past festive season was down on the previous season. Over the 2010-2011 holidays, 1 704 were killed in vehicle accidents.

Going forward, the focal point for 2012 would be reducing the fatality rate. It had been reported that more than 40 people died on South African roads every day; this needed a major shift in the road safety approach, Ndebele said.

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