Northern Cape release of the Provincial 2018 Preliminary Festive Season Road Safety Stats.

22 January 2019 | From Arrive Alive

Programme Director,  Head of Ministry, Mr Kabelo Mohibidu
Head of Department, Mr Moeketsi Dichaba
Director for Transport Regulations, Mr Lesego Wolfe
Representatives from SANTACO
Departmental Officials and Stakeholders 
Members of the Media 

Today marks the release of the Northern Cape’s 2018 Preliminary Festive Season Road Safety operations report that cover the period of 1 December 2018 to 7 January 2019.  The report will reflect on the Province’s performance during the festive season and unpack the conduct of road users during the period.   

As we all know, the festive season is characterized by high traffic volumes as people crisscross the country to make their way to various destinations across the country and Province to go on vacation, visit families and spend time with loved ones. 
Unfortunately, the period also marks an unpopular characteristic of devastating road crashes and accidents that rob communities of loved ones, leaving many traumatized and with little to celebrate.  

Allow me to take this opportunity to send my sincere and heartfelt condolences to families and friends who lost loved ones during this period.  It goes without saying, that one life lost on the roads is one life too many.  

We wish those who were involved in road crashes and accidents, and are recovering at home or in hospitals, a speedy recovery and good health.  

It is crucial that we recognize that each and every action we take on the roads can severely impact on someone else’s life.  Road accidents not only cripple the economy of the country but severely impacts on the quality of lives of many households, as some that are injured or perish on the roads are breadwinners.  So, the loss therefore becomes a loss of, not only of a parent, child or sibling but also loss of income, leaving some families in dire devastation.  So, let us be mindful of our conduct on the roads.  

Ladies and gentlemen, it would be a great injustice if I do not also use this platform to recognize the sacrifices the men and women in uniform make during this crucial time whilst many are spending time with family and friends or resting.  These men and women sacrifice time with family, to continue to be guardians of our roads in ensuring everyone’s safety on the roads.  To all law enforcement officials and agencies:  we value and appreciate the selfless service you render to ensure everyone Arrives Alive.  

Today, we reflect on the conduct of road users and our efforts during the Festive Season Road Safety Operations in collaboration with the SAPS and other stakeholders.   The report covers the period from 1 December 2018 to 8 January 2019, as declared by the Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande as the official Festive Season Road Safety period. 

During this period, the objectives of our operations was to achieve the following:
•    To Improve Road Safety
•    To reduce accidents, fatalities and serious injuries
•    To create a heightened awareness of road traffic safety issues – through our road safety education and messages.

Allow me to categorically state that our major challenge remains the behavior of some road users and their disregard for the rules of the road – and therefore putting the lives of all other road users at risk.  

I must, however, applaud those road users that continue to lead by example and not only observe the rules of the roads but are cautious and considerate of other road users.   

Distinguished guests, it is a well-known fact that the Province remains confronted with the limited number of provincial traffic officers and resources while having to police the biggest Province countrywide.  This however never deters us from ensuring that we use our limited resources to make the greatest impact through employing strategies derived from anyalising trends and  breakdown of statistics.  

To mark the start of the heightened Festive Season operations, the Province launched its Festive Season Road Safety operations in Colesberg on 26 November 2018 through a Law Enforcement Operation at the N1 weighbridge.
Reflections of the Festive Season Operations

Reflecting on the outcomes of our operations for the period under review of 1 December 2018 to 7 January 2019, we stopped and checked 23 674 and issued 2 048 summonses.  

Anaylising the data, speeding constituted more than 40% of summons issued at a total of 861 summonses while the highest speed recorded was 173km/h near Richmond on the N1 in a 120km/h zone. 
90 summonses were issued for moving violations such as using a cellphone while driving and overtaking over barrier lines.  
415 summonses were issued for failure to produce driving licenses and no licenses while 206 summonses were issued for unlicensed vehicles. 
Ladies and gentlemen, this is but a glimpse that the attitudes of road users remains to be our biggest challenge as these are decisions that individuals make on the roads that put their lives and the lives of other road users at risk.  

Fatigue, pedestrian negligence and overloading are some of the concerns that we have noted while analyzing our operations that also requires a shift in the mindset such a planning trips and scheduling rest stops every 200km or 2hours on any journey.  
With this said, it is unfortunate that as pronounced by our Transport Minister Dr Nzimande during the release of the national Preliminary Festive Season Road Safety report, the Northern Cape is amongst Provinces that increased in the number of recorded fatalities.

The Province recorded 42 crashes that resulted in 54 fatalities (with 1 612 recorded countrywide during the period) while in 2017 the Province recorded 30 fatalities.

In reflecting on the number of fatalities, the Province also recorded two major crashes where five people died in each crash resulting in 10 fatalities.  Areas that recorded the most fatalities is Springbok with 14 fatalities, Upington with 12 and Mothibistad recorded 8 fatalities.  

Ladies and gentlemen, it goes without saying that the recorded increase in fatalities is undesirable despite the Province continuing to record the lowest number of fatalities across the 9 Provinces.  

The following are some of the reflections in relation to our data analysis:

4 975 drivers were screened for driving under the influence of alcohol and resulted in 7 arrests, depicting a decrease of 5 arrests in comparison to the 12 arrests recorded in 2017.  
Although speed summonses contributed almost 40% of the summonses issued during the period, 861 speed summonses were recorded for 2018 showing a decline of 466 summonses in comparison to the 1 327 speed summonses issued in 2017.  
5 arrests were recorded for excessive speeding during this period in comparison to 8 arrests in 2017.
The number of summonses issued for various offences also depicted a decline from 3 407 in 2017 to 2 048 during the period under review.  
I would like to applaud the taxi industry for their continued support and initiatives in curbing road fatalities, as yet again, we have recorded no fatal crashes involving licensed taxis. 

Ladies and gentlemen, as I conclude, although we show improvements in some areas, we still have a mammoth task ahead of us as we still need to make sure that more and more people change their attitudes on the roads to ensure safer roads for all.

We will therefore continue with our Road Safety Education and to call on communities to join our efforts in enhancing our messages and in complying with the rules of the road.  

Let it be noted that, Road Safety remains a 365 Days Campaign that we should all strive towards in ensuring that we adhere to the rules of the road and that more people should take personal responsibility for their lives and the lives of other road users.  

I would like to once more convey my gratitude to our traffic officers for their continued dedicated and relentless service, our stakeholders in their road safety efforts and the media who always avail information to the masses on their platforms.  Needless to say, Road Safety is a crucial aspect of society that impacts on all lives and it needs a collective efforts to realise our vision of having zero road fatalities.  

With that said, let us remember that Road Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility and to always Arrive Alive.

I thank you. 


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