South Africa

Mbalula: Minibus fatal crashes dropped from 11.1% to 8.2% over festive season

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said fatal crashes caused by minibus taxis have dropped from 11.1% to 8.2%.

But 1,448 people still lost their lives on our roads over the festive season.

Mbalula released this year’s traffic statistics on Friday, which show that drivers are still getting behind the wheel drunk and that speeding and reckless overtaking are still a problem.

“We are encouraged that fewer minibus taxis were in crashes during this period.”

Mbalula said minibus taxis accounted for 8.2% of fatal crashes during the festive season, a drop from 11.1% last year.

ALSO READ: Out with the 0.5% and in with the 0% alcohol law this year - Mbalula

More heavy-duty and night delivery vehicles were involved in more than a third of crashes.

But the highest number of fatalities were caused by private vehicles.

“The overwhelming number of vehicles involved in fatal crashes are sedans and station wagons, which accounted for 51.4% of fatal crashes,” Mbalula said.

Mbalula also said this year laws would be signed for zero-alcohol driving and a de-merit system to take away licenses from repeat offenders.

But despite a decrease on-road fatalities over the festive period, the Automobile Association said the figures suggested the situation had not improved.

The Automobile Association's Layton Beard said figures showed that we hadn't moved in the right direction.

“We are devastated every year when have to report the same thing over and over again. We are certainly not moving the dial in the right direction and it’s a huge issue. Next year, if nothing changes between now and December next year, I can guarantee you now we will have the same conversation.”

WATCH: Decline in road fatalities over the festive season

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