Road safety awareness ‘going to schools’

2011-10-06 08:38

Road safety might soon be part of a life skills curriculum at schools, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said yesterday.

“We are making progress... towards ensuring that every Grade 11 pupil would have a learner’s licence and every 18-year-old a driving licence,” Ndebele said at a schools road safety debate in Durban.

He said the death of around 40 people on South Africa’s roads daily must be seen as a crisis requiring an extraordinary response.

At least 14 000 people were killed on South Africa’s roads every year, costing at least R60 billion per annum.

“This September (2011) over 2000 people were killed on our roads,” said Ndebele.

The transport department was looking at proposing a total ban on drinking and driving for certain categories of drivers, and to lower the current legal alcohol limit. These categories include freight and public transport drivers, as well as learner drivers.

Other initiatives under consideration included steps to test driving skills at night and in hazardous conditions as part of the licensing process.

The minister said an upcoming meeting of Southern African Development Community (SADC) transport ministers would adopt a plan of action for transport safety in the region.

Part of the SADC initiative was to harmonise traffic information systems, by making available South Africa’s electronic national traffic information system (eNatis).

Ndebele said South Africa wanted all SADC countries to have a single system of vehicle identification. 

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