Cape Town - More than 1 700 deaths were recorded on South African roads over the 2016/17 festive season, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters announced on Tuesday, 10 January. The minister, in a television interview, blamed the incline in road deaths to various factors, including enhanced exhaust pipes that are able to 'make sparks'.
Cars modified to make "what they call 'Vrrrr Phaaa' in the townships", the Minister said, were a cause for reckless driving and increased road deaths.
SEE: The 10 Commandments of Road Safety
The minister told reporters in Midrand that the figure of 1 714 was a 5% increase over the last festive season. See News24's coverage here.
Despite the appalling and devastating #RoadStats, the Twittersphere reacted to Peters' interesting social lingo in announcing the stats, commending her for being 'up to speed with popular culture'.
Apart from the Vrrr Phaaa's the minister also made other references to South African popular culture, mentioning Moreki (a reference to the popular 'Ska Bhora Moreki' hit song), and Van Damme (referencing a song voted as the most popular in South Africa for 2016, 'Mroza’s ‘Sobulal uVan Damme’ (We are going to kill Van Damme)).
This is what South Africans had to say about the #RoadStats and Peters' announcement thereof:
Despite the lightheartedness of the references to pop culture, the Minister's announcements of SA's road deaths are horrific.
South Africa ranks as the seventh-most dangerous country in the world for road safety, a shocking statistic that places our country on a danger list along with Eritrea, Oman and Iraq.
SEE: MAP: SA roads some of the most fatal on the globe
Many road accidents are often results of speeding, drivers under the influence of alcohol and fatigue on the long stretches of tar.
What to read next on Traveller24:
- Road Safety 101: Keep the festive spirit alive on these high volume roads
- The 10 Commandments of Road Safety
- WATCH: Heavy rain, flooding rivers close roads in southern Kruger