Ndebele: ‘Plan now to prevent road carnage’

2011-08-25 00:00

TRANSPORT Minister Sbu Ndebele has called on transport MECs from all provinces, and KwaZulu-Natal in particular, to ensure that road safety programmes are intensified in preparation for next month’s school holidays.

Addressing MECs and senior officials at the MinMec (ministers and members of executive councils) meeting in Cape Town on Tuesday, Ndebele said August has been a horrific month for road accidents and deaths, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal.

MinMec is a co-ordinating body chaired by the minister and comprises the deputy minister, nine MECs for transport and other key officials.

“Provinces and municipalities should already be putting in place road safety plans for September to ensure there is no recurrence of what happened on our roads during August. Each province and municipality must know where, when, why, who, what and how in terms of road deaths in their respective areas,” said Ndebele in a statement.

“MECs and mayors must ensure that all traffic chiefs provide a detailed weekly evaluation and analysis of road deaths for their policing areas, as well as corrective measures being implemented.”

He said the deaths are not inevitable and can be prevented if correct measures are taken by all stakeholders to ensure safe roads.

The meeting agreed that provinces and municipalities should address how to collect road accident data, enforce measures against drunk driving and provide 24-hour traffic law enforcement around the country.

The KwaZulu-Natal provincial transport spokesperson, Kwanele Ncalane, said the province is already implementing the agreements of the meeting.

“Our first move will be the 24-hour deployment of police in all borders of the province. It has been observed that vehicles from other provinces get involved in accidents on our roads,” said Ncalane.

He said the past three weeks should be a wake-up call for motorists; they should not only be scared of getting arrested when they transgress, but should also think before breaking the road rules.

“For example, in the Kokstad accident which killed 10 people early this month preliminary examinations reveal that the taxi driver was making a U-turn when he collided with the bus.

“This shows motorists should be scared of breaking the road rules,” said Ncalane.

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