Over 70 fatalities on the roads since the start of the month

A total of 65 crashes were recorded in the province in this period. FILE PICTURE: David Ritchie/ Independent Newspapers

At least 76 people have died on Western Cape roads since the beginning of December, the provincial government said in a statement.

The Mid Festive Season Road Safety report, which was issued on Friday by Ricardo Mackenzie, the MEC for Mobility, said the fatalities occurred from Friday December 1 until Wednesday December 20.

A total of 65 crashes were recorded in the province in that period, and fatalities included 14 drivers, two motorcyclists, 26 passengers and 34 pedestrians.

A total of 322 arrests were made – 226 cases were for driving under the influence of alcohol – while the remainder were for wide-ranging offences such as reckless and negligent driving (25), speeding (four), possession of fraudulent documentation (41), goods overloading (11), among others.

“We have noticed that more incidents are happening during the day, instead of at night time. Our team is monitoring this emerging trend closely, and we have appealed to road users to take just as much care during the daytime as they normally would at night,” the department said.

Many of these road crashes have taken place in the Cape Town metro, on the Garden Route, in the Cape Winelands, and on the West Coast.

“Our preliminary analysis shows that a number of the fatal crashes have involved drivers losing control of their vehicles. This suggests they could have been distracted while driving, using their cell phone, or falling asleep at the wheel,” Mr Mackenzie said.

A total of 35 951 fines were issued for various traffic violations ranging from driver to vehicle fitness.

Fifty vehicles were impounded and 339 were discontinued for being found to be unroadworthy.