START policing and STOP the carnage

2014-01-09 00:00

THE high number of road fatalities the past holiday season deeply saddens and sickens me and it also enrages me because these deaths should not have occurred and the road carnage should not have worsened. Of particular concern is the number of innocent passengers in buses and taxis as well as those illegally transported in goods vehicles that have lost their lives because of an unsafe — probably unlicensed — driver or an unfit and unsafe vehicle.

The road carnage we have in South Africa is one of the highest, if not the highest in the world. It is an embarrassment to and an indictment against our society and our nation. While it is the responsibility of every road user to know the laws and obey these, it is the government and traffic authorities who are responsible and accountable for ensuring that the traffic laws are obeyed and the roads kept safe. It is also the government’s responsibility to ensure that road safety education is taught to all citizens; that it has qualified, experienced, honest, dedicated and pro-active traffic officers on the roads; that it has a proper, workable and sustainable plan to reduce or eliminate road collisions and remove criminal drivers from the road system; and that continuous — not just over holiday periods — traffic patrols and enforcement of all traffic laws — not just a focus on speed limits — are applied to our roads.

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