More than 1,700 people were killed in road accidents in South African during the end of year celebrations. Compared to the same period a year ago, the number of road accident casualties have increased by 14 per cent according to official figures released on Tuesday.
Despite a national campaign against road accidents, 1755 deaths were recorded from December 1 to January 11.
“We can not sleep soundly when the thousands of travelers are killed by irresponsible motorists,” the Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters, told a news conference in Pretoria.
Over speeding, drink driving, reckless overtaking, vehicles in poor condition, lack of seat belt use were attributed to the carnage on the road.
Over 6,000 motorists were arrested for driving while intoxicated, and police stopped 5,710 vehicles unsuitable for the road.
“There are on the road a totally unacceptable number of vehicles that should not move,” the Minister added.
South Africa remains one of the worst performers on the continent in terms of road safety, drink driving, lack of infrastructure and police corruption rendering ineffective the government prevention efforts.
About 35 people are killed every day in the country,and about 13,000 per year.