Easter 2015 is likely to produce South Africa’s worst-ever road death toll for an Easter period with the number of fatalities set to rise substantially. This is the view of the Automobile Association which warns that the figure of 287 fatalities could well rise to 400.
“The daily death toll of 57 fatalities is already the highest per-day toll to have arisen from a holiday period and in terms of international norms, anyone who dies within 30 days of a traffic crash is included in the count,” the Association says.
Many people who were injured in traffic crashes over the Easter weekend will still be receiving hospital treatment. In some cases, their injuries will be too severe for them to survive or they will succumb to conditions related to the initial trauma.
The AA says of preliminary and finalised death tolls for the Christmas periods between 2009 and 2011 showed that the death toll rose by up to 33% once all fatalities had been accounted for.
“If this multiple is applied to the current preliminary Easter death toll, the current figure of 287 fatalities may rise to 400, which would be roughly half of the total death toll for the 1997 Christmas period,” the Association says, adding that the gravity of the problem is made clear when one considers that the Easter 2015 period was just five days long versus the 38-day long Christmas 1997 period.”
The AA says the shock Easter death toll makes it clear just how urgently the country’s road safety record needed to be improved.