DA speaks out on road safety

By Drum Digital
13 November 2015

The upcoming World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is an opportunity for government to improve road safety in South Africa. So says Manny De Freitas, DA MP and Shadow Minister of Transport.

By Ayanda Sitole

The upcoming World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is an opportunity for government to improve road safety in South Africa. So says Manny De Freitas, DA MP and Shadow Minister of Transport.

The day of remembrance is set to be observed on Sunday 15 November. Initiated by road victims in 1993, the day was adopted by the United Nations in 2005. It is dedicated to remembering millions of people who have been killed and injured in road crashes as well as their families, friends and communities who are also affected.

De Freitas has been quick to criticise Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters and her Parliamentary Portfolio Committee, saying they haven’t implemented any road safety strategy and have shown no accountability for the rise of road accidents and deaths every year.

“The Department of Transport and its entities, such as the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), make the right noises but lack true action in dealing with the carnage and high death rate on our roads,” he says,

“The portfolio committee was established six months ago, while an average of 1 400 people die every month on our roads. Explaining why deaths on our roads continue to rise year after year, they blamed everyone on the roads, as if Government had no responsibility in all of this.”

De Freitas has accused the department of not adopting internationally proven road safety methods and says a combination of strategies and co-ordinated plans are needed. He suggests that the RTMC should be collecting, collating and releasing accurate road statistics which can be used to develop strategies to reduce road carnage and deaths.

“There needs to be a review the outdated K53 licensing model, which produces a high number of incompetent drivers,” he says. “Systemic corruption in both licensing and traffic law enforcement must be eradicated, with consequences for those that are corrupt.”

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