Annual road toll down – but rural road deaths increased

Despite the lowest state road toll in SA’s recorded history, rural road fatalities rose sharply in 2018.

Rural road fatalities made up a startling 76 per cent of the total road toll – making up 61 of the 80 person road toll.

Both the number and the percentage of rural deaths jumped significantly in 2018, despite the total deaths dropping by 20 per cent. 

SAPOL has described the 61 rural fatalities as a “staggering” number.

“Today I can say that for 2018 we have recorded 80 deaths of people on our roads. The lowest ever recorded road toll since official records were first kept in 1970,” Acting Commissioner Linda Williams said.

“However, this is not a time for patting ourselves on the back!

“It is not a time for complacency and definitely not a time for any form of celebration - it is still 80 people who have lost their lives on our roads.”

In 2017, with a total road toll of 100, deaths on metro roads were higher (56 fatalities) than on regional ones (44 fatalities).

Acting Commissioner Linda Williams further stated: “I might sound like that I am not pleased that we have recorded the lowest recorded road toll in this state.

“Of course I am heartened to think that maybe; just maybe the road safety message has gotten through to more people in our community and I am truly thankful for that.

“However, we must persevere; we all must continue to be resilient; and we can never ever be totally satisfied until no person is killed or seriously injured on our roads.”