Monday 15 July, 2019

Road deaths race past the 200 mark - RSU

The number of persons killed on the nation’s streets has now raced past the 200-mark with the Road Safety Unit (RSU) reporting 201 deaths as of Thursday, June 13.

This means that nine people lost their lives over a seven-day period from June 6 when the RSU, which is located in the Ministry of Transport and Mining, reported 192 fatalities.

The 201 deaths resulted from 185 fatal crashes and motorcyclists continue to lead the way with 64 (32 per cent of all fatalities) of them perishing since the start of the year.

That group is followed by pedestrians with 49 being killed in 2019. A further breakdown of the statistics show that 30 of those who perished were drivers of private motor vehicles, 28 were passengers of private motor vehicles, 13 were pedal cyclists, five were pillion riders, four were occupants of public passenger vehicles, two were drivers of commercial motor cars and one was the driver of a public passenger vehicle.

With road deaths running 22 per cent higher than for the comparable period in 2018 when 389 people were killed during the year, the RSU has been forced to reduce down to five from six per cent, its projected decrease in road fatalities this year. Of note is that at the start of the year, the Unit was projecting a 15 per cent decrease in road fatalities.

There are two groups of road users who are posing a particular challenge – children and the elderly. Thirteen children have died as a result of traffic crashes since the start of the year, an increase of 86 per cent over 2018.

Meanwhile, 35 elderly persons have been killed in road crashes this year, a 52 per cent increase over last year. The RSU said 57 per cent of the elderly who have been killed were pedestrians.

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