December 2015 news24; South Africa is among the leading countries with the worst alcohol-related fatalities in the world, according to the 2015 Global Status Report on Road Safety, compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The report stated that 13 273 people died on South African roads in the last year, with 58% of those in alcohol-related deaths.
WHO’s director general Dr Margaret Chan said the report illustrated that the number of road traffic deaths globally is 1.25 million a year.
She said the third global status report shows that low and middle-income countries are hardest hit, with double the fatality rates of high-income countries and 90% of global road traffic deaths. Vulnerable road users – pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists – make up half of these fatalities.
In South Africa, 33% of the road deaths were pedestrians, 38% passengers and 29% drivers. The estimated GDP lost on road accidents in the country is 7.8%.
Earlier this year, News24 reported that the Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) had said that corruption at traffic licensing bureaus and crooked driving schools had been touted as major factors in the country’s growing list of road fatalities.
The RTMC called for immediate tighter control, from instituting 24-hour traffic monitoring on highways to more anti-corruption operations and even a complete revival of the country’s passenger rail services to curb the growing death tolls on the road.