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 30th 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% 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 have released their annual report for 2009/2010. 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 – March 2010.
Year Western Cape Fatalities National Fatalities
2008/9 1483 13707
2009/10 1307 13923
Change -176 +216
Thus whilst national road fatalities have increased by 1.6%, in the Western Cape they have declined by 11.9%.. A significant decrease in pedestrian deaths of 20.96% contributed strongly.
Fatalities in bus and taxi accidents are also down.
The Western Cape`s 1579000 vehicles constitute 16% of the total national vehicle population, but provincial road deaths constitute only 9.3% 0f total fatalities.
The Western Cape is also well below the national road deaths per 10000 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 SA roads.
The national statistics throw up some interesting features.
Pedestrians constitute 34% of all fatalities; drivers 30% and passengers 36%.
Private cars are responsible for by far the largest share of fatalities – 60%.
Most of the drivers who die on the road are young – 51% are between the ages of 20 and 39 years.
Whilst women constitute 40% of all drivers, they make up only 4% of the driver fatalities.
This astonishing statistic points to the role that aggression plays in the carnage on our roads.
61% of all fatal accidents occur over weekends.
Safely Home is on target to reach 50% reduction in fatalities by 2014.
The Western Cape has achieved an average gap of 7.8% 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% 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.
Hector Eliott |
Head of Ministry |
Transport and Public Works
Provincial Government Western Cape