The transport ministry is looking at reclassifying drunk driving to be as serious a crime as rape, murder or attempted murder.
Transport Minister Dipuo Peters told reporters in Midrand on Tuesday, during the release of the 2016/17 festive season road fatality statistics, that they were looking at changing the crime from a Schedule 3 to a Schedule 5 offence.
This formed part of its proposed interventions following the 1 714 death recorded over the period.
Those convicted under a Schedule 5 offence face a recommended minimum sentence of 15 years in jail. Schedule 5 offences include murder, attempted murder, treason, rape, corruption, extortion and fraud.
Premeditated murder is a Schedule 6 offence.