Spotlight falls on safety

2016-06-08 06:00

THE importance of road safety and adherence to the rules by the youth took centre stage at the Free State Youth Safety Summit held in Bloemfontein over two days on 3 June and 4 June.

This was a joint initiative by the provincial Department of Police, Roads and Transport and the National Department of Transport.

The summit was organised to enable the youth to participate, as an integral part, in the road safety programmes to complement existing efforts to promote road safety and curb road carnage.

The provincial summit followed its establishment in 2015. It was officially formed in the Western Cape and was influenced by a number of factors pertaining to the behaviour of youth drivers, implicating them as culprits of road carnage.

According to the department, people under the age of 25 are killed mostly on the road, contributing to the grim statistics.

Casualties include pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and those using public transport.

Hillary Mophethe, departmental spokesperson, said the findings showed that young road users were at risk for road traffic injuries for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • Insufficient consideration of their specific needs when roads are being planned.
  • Risk-taking behaviour and peer pressure, particularly among adolescents.
  • Speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, ignorance of using seat-belts and motorcyclists not using helmets.

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