May 29, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Fewer road deaths this Easter and driving licence backlog is being cleared — that’s the good news

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said that 162 people died on South Africa’s roads during the Easter period compared to 235 last year.

This resulted from 134 fatal accidents this year compared to 189 last year. Most accidents occurred on Friday and Saturday.

The number of cars on the roads remained the same, except in KwaZulu-Natal, where traffic fell by about 21% due to flooding.

< p>“We come from a unique Easter season,” said Mbalula.

“This Easter season was marked by incessant rains across the country and flooding that devastated homes and infrastructure and devastated many families in KwaZulu-Natal , as well as parts of the Eastern Cape. Churches with large followings such as Zion Christian Church have not conducted their annual Easter pilgrimage in accordance with Covid-19 restrictions.”

All provinces saw a decrease in deaths except Western Cape and Mpumalanga. The Western Cape saw a 30.8% increase in deaths from 26 in 2021 to 34 this year. Mpumalanga saw a 27.8% increase from 18 road fatalities last year to 23 this year.

KwaZulu-Natal saw a 61.1% drop from 54 road fatalities last year to 21 this year, while Gauteng recorded a 33.3% drop with 24 deaths this year.

“Our analysis shows that while the trend in deaths per time of day continues to show that most deaths occur at night, this Easter it did a new phenomenon has been observed with fatalities increasing sharply in the early hours between 4am and 5am.”

Mbalula said law enforcement statistics showed fewer people were charged with speeding, drunk driving than previously , driving without a license and driving without wearing a seat belt were all criminal offenses years ago.

This year there were a total of 2,395 speeding fines imposed, compared to 5,923 last year.

A total of 3,494 motorists were fined for driving an unregistered vehicle, compared to 5,677 last year and 2,134 drivers were fined for driving without wearing a seat belt compared to 2,351 last year.

Mbalula said the government is aiming to reduce road deaths by 25% by 2024 to gain traction.”

Driver’s licenses

The Minister reminded motorists that there is only one week left until the last deadline for the extended grace period for the renewal of driving license cards that expired between March December 2020 and the end of August 2021.

“Beyond this period, there will be no further extension of the grace period,” Mbalula said.

“We will step up our law enforcement efforts to punish those who willfully flout the law and do not return their expired driver’s licenses Renew.”

Currently, the country has a backlog of 1.3 million expired driver’s license cards that have yet to be renewed.

Analyzing the backlog by age of drivers who do not have their driver’s license have renewed shows that motorists between the ages of 25 and 50 account for 68% of drivers who have yet to renew their driver’s license cards, he said.

To cope with the expected surge in demand for services, said Mbalula that the daily hours of operation of driver’s license centers have been extended by two hours during the weekday and the centers will be open on weekends, both Saturdays and Sundays, until May 31.

The government is also allowing online bookings also walk-ins in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape, where online bookings are possible, by the end of May.

Card backlog

Mbalula said the government has overcome capacity constraints preventing the issuance of the Driver’s license delayed cards due to device configuration sfalls in the last year.

The Driver’s License Card Accounts trading entity is now working 24/7 to clear the driver’s license card backlog, which totals 596,513.

“The DLCA has ramped up their production capacity and will be able to sort out the current backlog of the cards to be printed by the end of June,” Mbalula said.

He warned, “Ours Law enforcement agencies will be extremely ruthless in dealing with drivers who break the law and will be driving without a valid license and cannot show that they have renewed their license and are awaiting issuance.”

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