Easter 2015 is likely to produce South Africa’s worst-ever road death toll for an Easter period

This is the view of the Automobile Association, which warned that the number of fatalities was set to rise substantially.

“The figures which have been extensively publicised in the media this week are only the start,” warned the AA. “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 added.

Many people who were injured in traffic crashes over the Easter weekend will still be receiving hospital treatment in an attempt to save their lives.

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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 said that comparisons 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 said. “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 said that the shock Easter death toll made it clear just how urgently the country’s road safety record needed to be improved. “Immediate attention is needed to licencing and enforcement.