Pedestrians accounted for 35% of all road deaths this past Easter weekend. This was revealed by Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, on Thursday.
He announced road deaths statistics that showed that 235 people died in 189 road crashes recorded across the country.
Mbalula said traffic volumes reached its peak on Thursday last week, but there were no deaths recorded on the day.
”They [fatalities] spiked on Friday between 18:00 and 22:00 when people had reached their destinations and were indulging in weekend festivities that include alcohol consumption.
“One of the major disturbing elements emerging from the information gathered thus far is the vulnerability of pedestrians and passengers. At least 35% of people who died on the roads are pedestrians,” he added.
The minister said palisade fences and walls erected to stop pedestrians from accessing freeways were being vandalised and broken down, increasing the risk of pedestrian fatalities.
During the year's Easter weekend South Africa recorded 193 crashes that resulted in 260 deaths. This means that the number of road accidents has been reduced by 2.1%, while fatalities came down by 9.6%.
But pedestrian deaths increased by 5% from 30% to 35% compared to the same period last year. The Department of Transport says about 6% of pedestrian deaths occurred between midnight and 02:00 in morning.
The Transport Minister praised law enforcement officers, saying their efforts are “yielding positive results“ and “majority of road users are heeding our call to make road safety their personal responsibility.”
The Department of Transport used the data from 2019 for analysis because the country was on hard COVID-19 lockdown over the Easter weekend last year.