In three years, a total of 8,547 people aged 21 to 34 died on the country’s roads.
The staggering death toll for the years 2019 to 2021 comes from statistics compiled by the Road Administration Corporation (RTMC).
The hardest-hit age group was said to be 30-34 year olds with 3,661 deaths.
Gauteng had the highest with 1,380 deaths Road fatality toll of 8,547 .
RTMC CEO Makhosini Msibi said SA was facing a crisis on its roads and many of the victims were in an economically active age group needed for the country’s development.
“It is sad to read in road accident investigation reports that in most cases people are dying on the roads because they did not wear seat belts. In many cases, seat belts were found to have been cut off or fastened under the seats of vehicles and therefore could not be used to save lives,” Msibi said.
RTMC spokesman Simon Zwane said the statistics were used to do so a clear call for young people to make road safety a priority as they take part in June’s Youth Month celebrations.
Zwane said factors contributing to the high number of road deaths among young people are persistent risky behaviour , such as :
- Restraint when using seat belts;
- Driving at speeds that were too high for the circumstances; and
- Driving and driving.
“The provinces with the highest number of juvenile road fatalities are Gauteng with 1,380 fatalities, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 1,235 fatalities, Eastern Cape with 1,201 and Limpopo with 1,127,” he said.
Zwane said these four provinces accounted for 57.8% of youth deaths.
“In Mpumalanga, 968 deaths were recorded record among youth, followed by Western Cape with 932, Free State 830, North West 640 and Northern Cape with 234 deaths.”
The RTMC appealed to young people to be aware of road safety.
“Fatal accidents were estimated to have cost the economy R188.31 billion last year based on the 10,611 fatal accidents recorded during the period with the loss of 12,545 lives,” said Zwane.
Msibi called on road users, traffic safety representatives and law enforcement officials to come together
“The RTMC supports the World Health Organization’s recommendations that traffic calming measures should be implemented in areas of high pedestrian traffic to reduce vehicle speeds and to save lives,” said Zwane.
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