Fewer crashes, more deaths on EC roads

The number of road crashes in the Eastern Cape has dropped significantly thanks to multi-agency collaboration and support from road users.

This is according to MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, MPL Weziwe Tikana, who said provincial law enforcement agencies were active during the 2014/15 Festive Season Arrive Alive Campaign. However, the number of road deaths has increased.

In a media release, Tikana said campaign highlights for 1 December 2014 to 4 January 2015 were as follows: * 1 493 traffic officers and road safety officers were on duty (three shifts) * Total number of vehicles stopped and screened: 61 931 ( freight – 2 151, buses – 1 959, taxis – 16 173, other – 41 648) * Number of notices issued: 7 736 * Number of vehicles discontinued: 110 * Number of vehicles impounded: 45 * Public transport notices: 1 801 * Road safety awareness and education operations: 16 * Fatigue management operations: 22 * K78 roadblocks: 27 * Highest speed recorded: 166km/h in a 120km/h zone.

Another contributing factor to the campaign's success was the introduction of permanent roadblocks on the following notorious routes, Tikana said: • N2 East-London - Mthatha - Kokstad • R61 Mthatha - Port St Johns - Mbizana • R61 – Aberdeen - Cradock – Ngcobo- Mthatha • R72 East London – Port Elizabeth • N6 Aliwal North – East London “We salute all our law-enforcement agencies and commend the support from our neighbouring province," Tikana said.

"You would recall that between December 2013 and January 2014, the Eastern Cape recorded 372 road crashes resulting in 98 deaths and 532 injuries (288 serious and 244 slight).

"But this year we have seen a significant drop in the road crashes due to the adopted multi-agency collaboration and support from road users.

"In the period, 1 December 2014 to 4 January 2015, we have registered 137 fatal crashes with 173 fatalities: 39 drivers, 82 passengers and 52 pedestrians."

Sarah Baartman District reported 39 crashes, Amathole District 29, OR Tambo 27, Chris Hani 25, Alfred Nzo 9 and Joe Gqabi 8.

A social mobilisation programme until October 2015 will target: * School pupils and youth in general * Adults (elderly, people with disabilities, hawkers etc), * The public transport industry * Freight logistics companies * Traditional leaders * Community Road Safety Councils (CRSC) * Law-enforcement agencies.

Tikana encouraged road users to report incidents or accidents on the road through the toll-free number 0800 644 644.

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