Road safety - AA wants new approach
Bloemfontein - A more aggressive and co-ordinated approach to shift South African motorists' behaviour was needed from the government, the Automobile Association of SA said on Thursday.
"Although there has been an increase in enforcement over the past holiday period, no significant engaging activities with the public were in place to make a real difference on the country's roads," spokesperson Gary Ronald said in a statement.
In 2011, at least 203 people died in road accidents over the Easter weekend, with 860 deaths during December 2010.
"South African families continue to lose bread-winners from road accidents," Ronald said.
In 2010, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele announced a national road traffic casualty reduction target of 50% in line with the United Nations' decade of action for road safety.
He said there was no indication of when the government would do something about it.
Ronald urged Ndebele to announce real action in the intervention of road safety in the country.
"The lack of action over the December and Easter periods was a big concern to us," he said.
The AA said that while the government had various road safety campaigns and strategies in place - such as Arrive Alive, the Mpumalanga traffic department's sivutha umlilo campaign, road blocks and a presence in and around key freeways - there was no "zero harm directive".
"Yet, we have not seen any effective initiatives or specific projects coming through from government to enforce road safety measures and instil a zero harm directive on our roads," said Ronald.
The AA recommended that the department of transport formulate a streamlined communication strategy with the public, road safety forums and road safety projects aimed at achieving a 50% crash reduction in the next 10 years.
Ronald said the AA was committed to working with the government to help the country play its part in reducing global crash figures.