FEMALE law enforcement officers commemorated Women’s Month by conducting massive operations throughout the country in an effort to reduce fatalities on the road.
Integrated roadblocks, involving officers from different authorities, had been conducted on all routes with a high number of fatal crashes.
Statistics show that deaths on South African roads increase substantially over long weekends with more people dying between Friday and Sunday, according to a statement from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).
“The abuse of alcohol has been identified as one of the key factors contributing to crashes and that formed a major focus of law enforcement efforts over the long weekend,” the statement read.
Road accidents exert a heavy burden on the economy, society and families as they involve economically active members of society, many of whom are breadwinners and heads of families, it further cited.
A study conducted by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and the Centre of Scientific and Industrial Research has estimated that the cost of crashes to South Africa last year was R166.2 billion. It is estimated that one death on the road represents an average loss of R4.6 million to the economy in terms of lost productivity, pain and suffering, medical costs, legal and funeral costs.
An analysis of statistics has identified the roads with the highest number of fatalities.
The analysis has confirmed that the top 10 roads and areas with the highest number of deaths nationally are the R71 Mankweng in Limpopo, R573 Umhlanga in Mpumalanga, N4 Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, N2 Libode in Eastern Cape, N1 Naboomspruit in Limpopo, N2 Umkhomazi in KwaZulu-Natal, N2 Pongola in KwaZulu-Natal, N2 Idutywa in Eastern Cape, R37 Mecklemburg and N3 Harrismith in the Free State.
A total of 254 people died on these roads last year and the human behaviour accounts for nine out of 10 fatal crashes that occurred.
These roads were prioritised for intensified law enforcement and female-led operations that were conducted throughout the month to make them safer.
A massive road safety education and awareness campaign, targeting pedestrians and passengers, was also undertaken in support of women in law enforcement.