Boycott unsafe drivers, commuters urged
Cape Town - Commuters who use public transport should boycott unsafe drivers, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said on Tuesday.
"Passengers must refuse to be transported in a vehicle that doesn't meet the minimum safety requirement standards. Passengers must refuse to be transported in a vehicle that drives at neck-break speed," he told the parliamentary transport portfolio committee.
During a briefing by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), he said his department wanted passengers to help change the attitude of drivers who did things, such as operate unroadworthy vehicles, speed, and drive drunk.
Passengers should say no to a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he said.
Ndebele said the department was giving its "full support" to the establishment of more road safety councils within communities.
"Through this initiative, we are saying people must take back their roads for it's only if we all become involved that we will be able to win the war against road carnage.
"Passengers must work with us in changing the culture on our roads."
Ndebele said the department, in partnership with the department of basic education, was introducing driving lessons as part of the life skills curriculum at schools.
"We want to catch them young before they fall for the societal pressures associated with this world we live in," he said.
The department wanted to prepare them for the road ahead and create a new breed of driver.
RTMC acting chief executive Collins Letsoalo told the committee the corporation would focus on removing rogue drivers, discontinuing "severely defective vehicles", and removing corruption and fraud at vehicle testing stations and driving licence centres.
"It really defeats the purpose if we move a car off the road and we find it back through corruption."
He said if passengers increased their use of seat belts, fatalities could be reduced by 30%.
"This is something we need to change in the mindset of South Africans. Zero fatalities for us is the change we want to see on our roads. This cannot continue."