Behaviour on the roads in South Africa is “deeply problematic,” Minister of Mobility of the Western Cape, Ricardo Mackenzie has said after road safety statistics for the festive season were released.

Between 1 December 2023 and 11 January 2024, there were 164 road deaths in the Western Cape compared to 131 fatalities during the festive period the previous year.

Of those deaths 108 were on municipal roads, up from 68 from last year, while on provincial roads, there were 56 fatalities, compared to 63 over the 2022-2023 festive season.

“Although we welcome this 11 per cent decrease in fatalities on provincial roads, one death on our roads is one too many,” said Mr Mackenzie.

“My prayers and thoughts are with those who are mourning their loved ones, and best wishes for a speedy recovery to those who have been injured in traffic crashes over the last few weeks.

“The reality is that our behaviour on the roads in South Africa is still deeply problematic and it has a devastating impact on our society. Despite our significant road safety efforts, we have a long way to go to turn the tide on poor road user behaviour.”

During the festive season provincial traffic officers stopped and checked 271,698 vehicles, issued almost 90,000 fines for various traffic violations, made 576 arrests for drunk driving and 64 arrests for reckless and negligent driving, and removed approximately 1,000 unroadworthy vehicles from the roads.

Minister Mackenzie said it was the first time in years, festive season road crashes occurred at all hours of the day, instead of predominantly at night.