Official statistics for deaths on the road during the festive season were released yesterday and the outcome was not positive. There was a 5% rise in road deaths compared to the same period last year. This means a total of 1 714 people were killed on the roads this year.
During the first half of December more than 3 000 people were arrested for speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving and possession of false documents. The MD of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says drivers who were lucky enough to escape any casualties, should now ask themselves what they could have done differently. “In a statement issued in December, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters says a large percentage of the deaths involved pedestrians.
“She attributed others to deliberately overtaking on barrier lines or blind spots, driving at high speeds or while under the influence of alcohol or driving while fatigued. How many drivers can say they were innocent of all these choices during the festive season?” asks Herbert.
The high death toll on our roads over the festive season will remain high if drivers do not accept every decision they make behind the wheel can have tragic consequences for themselves and many others. “The 3 000 people arrested for making bad choices were the lucky ones. The unlucky ones were the people who did not live to face the consequences of their choices. A staggering 82% of the fatal crashes have been attributed to human error.
“Of particular concern is the 2 500 people arrested for drunken driving in Gauteng. Warnings against drunken driving are continually publicised but many drivers continue to get behind the wheel impaired. The magnitude of the decision to get behind the wheel after a few drinks cannot be underestimated. I encourage every driver to watch this video and consequently think twice about choosing to drink and drive.”