Western Cape road deaths drop sharply
30 Sep 2010
The annual report of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), compiler of the official road safety statistics, show a sharp drop in the number of road deaths in the Western Cape for the year ended 30 March 2010.
This Transport Month, road safety is uppermost in the minds of many in the Western Cape, especially in the light of recent tragedies on our roads. A key objective of this administration is to reduce road fatalities by 50 percent by 2014, and the Safely Home road safety programme was initiated to achieve this.
Since May 2009, Safely Home has seen the provincial government and the City of Cape Town join hands to increase awareness of road safety issues, drive enforcement and increase the visibility of policing. Transport Month is perhaps an apt time to reflect on what has been achieved.
The Road Traffic Management Corporation has released their annual report for 2009/10. The road accident and fatalities statistics contained in it, make for grim reading, but do provide some welcome glimmers of light, especially for us here in the Western Cape. We are very pleased that our reported figures, present some sharp reductions in the number of fatalities, and are by far the best of all the provinces.
The key improvements are:
Number of fatalities April 2009 to March 2010
Western Cape fatalities
Thus whilst national road fatalities have increased by 1.6 percent, in the Western Cape they have declined by eleven 11.9 percent. A significant decrease in pedestrian deaths of 20.96 percent contributed strongly.
Fatalities in bus and taxi accidents are also down.
The Western Cape's 1 579 000 vehicles constitute 16 percent of the total national vehicle population, but provincial road deaths constitute only 9.3 percent of total fatalities.
The Western Cape is also well below the national road deaths per 10 000 vehicles: 7.7 in the province compared to 12.9 for the country as a whole. Gauteng has an even lower ratio of 6.9.
Snapshot of fatalities on South Africa's roads
The national statistics throw up some interesting features.
Pedestrians constitute 34 percent of all fatalities; drivers 30 percent and passengers 36 percent.
Private cars are responsible for by far the largest share of fatalities - 60 percent. Most of the drivers who die on the road are young - 51 percent are between the ages of 20 and 39 years. Whilst women constitute 40 percent of all drivers, they make up only four percent of the driver fatalities.
This astonishing statistic points to the role that aggression plays in the carnage on our roads.
Sixty one percent of all fatal accidents occur over weekends.
Safely Home is on target to reach 50 percent reduction in fatalities by 2014. The Western Cape has achieved an average gap of 7.8 percent below targeted rolling annual fatalities per quarter. Simply put, if current trends continue, we will achieve our goal. Congratulations are due to our colleagues in Gauteng, who are the only other province also on track, having achieved an outstanding average of 16.8 percent below target.
While the numbers are still horrendous, it is good to note here at the start of Transport Month that some gains are being made. The provincial government of the Western Cape and City of Cape Town encourage each and every citizen to take responsibility for road safety this month; for themselves, for their friends and for their family. Let's all get safely home.
Tel: 021 483 8546
Cell: 083 669 9609
Fax: 021 483 2217
Source: Western Cape Provincial Government
Issued by: Western Cape Transport and Public Works
30 Sep 2010
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