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Easter road deaths show 51% increase from past year

21 April 2017

A total of 235 people were killed on South African roads during the Easter holiday, a sharp increase of 52 percent from the same period of a year ago, the Ministry of Transport said Friday.

However, the period is usually marked by carnage on the country's roads and a high death toll. "However, this year's fatalities are still significantly lower than the 333 fatalities recorded in 2015", Maswanganyi addressed a media briefing in Pretoria.

More than 230 people were killed on South African roads during the recent Easter period, with the overall fatalities figure ballooning by 51 percent compared to same period previous year, transport minister Joe Maswanganyi revealed on Friday.

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"Our preliminary report shows that many people who died on our roads were victims of hit-and-run incidents, jaywalking or motorists who were driving at speeds that were too high for the circumstances. Human factor still remains a causal factor for most of the crashes during this Easter period", Maswanganyi added.

Deputy minister of transport Sindisiwe Chikunga acknowledged that the strike meant that more cars were on the road.

"Most fatal crashes happened at night, especially from 6pm to 10pm, to the early hours".

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Easter road fatalities increased in all provinces except the Free State. In the Northern Cape there was an increase of seven fatalities while in North West there were four more fatalities than during the same period past year.

He said this was a 51% increase over last year's figure of 156.

Police say they noticed an upswing in unlicensed drivers this Easter, and speeding remained a big problem.

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Easter road deaths show 51% increase from past year