Drive to force govt to act now

2013-09-07 00:00

THE Road Safety Action Campaign (RSAC) is raising funds to secure a court order compelling the government to make roads safer.

The Cape Town-based campaign is more determined to get the court order to help prevent “carnage” on the road following Thursday night’s horrific crash on Field’s Hill, Pinetown. It claimed the lives of 22 people.

Richard Benson, the founder of RSAC, has been trying to make provincial and national governments act against the constant deaths on the roads since 2008, but they just “have not listened”. With a court order, the government would be forced to implement strategies to make the roads safer.

“There are two main problems with our roads. The first is drivers who speed. The main reason people get killed in accidents rather than injured is because drivers were speeding … The second problem is the number of traffic cops. We have around 10 million vehicles on the roads nationwide and only around 17 000 traffic police to monitor them. We need around 100 000,” he told Weekend Witness. “Traffic policing should happen 24 hours a day.”

Benson has worked for years in road safety and was part of the Arrive Alive campaign. He started RSAC because he wanted to do more and get the government involved in helping to stop the continual deaths on the roads.

The RSAC have successfully brought back the name-and-shame campaign in Cape Town, where drunk drivers are named in newspapers. They are hoping this will happen all over the country.

“KZN used to do this before, but it has stopped as people who were being named started complaining … Naming serious traffic offenders may seem like something small, but this can drastically reduce the number of road fatalities.”

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