Campaign pledges to make roads safe

2017-12-06 06:02
Various stakeholders at the launch of Arrive Alive’s Safer Festive Season Road Safety Campaign in Phokwane on Thursday,23 November.Photo: Supplied

Various stakeholders at the launch of Arrive Alive’s Safer Festive Season Road Safety Campaign in Phokwane on Thursday,23 November.Photo: Supplied

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It has become a sad fact that road users – drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, as well as donkey and horse carts end up becoming the victims of their own errors or the error of others.

That was highlighted by Pauline Williams, the MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, during the launch of Arrive Alive’s Safer Festive Season Road Safety Campaign in Phokwane on Thursday, 23 November.

Williams said the reality was that the festive season, which should be a season of caring, giving and loving, is sometimes marred by avoidable injuries and death on the roads.

She pledged to do her very best to make this a season of merriment and not mourning.

Williams said with a robust action plan in place, the campaign with the theme “Arrive Alive and Save Lives”, should be underpinned by an orderly regime of law enforcement.

“Our roads are shared spaces. What each one of us does or fails to do, affects the safety of ourselves as well as the safety of others,” Williams said.

The launch was held in Phokwane due to certain routes in the Northern Cape being places where where big road accidents take place.

“We will be focusing our attention and effort where it is needed.

“Our broad operational plan for the festive season and road safety education operations demand that all our law enforcement officers and stakeholder parties must be on the roads in their numbers with a zero tolerance to lawlessness.

Five pillars

“This plan is based on the five pillars of focus, including road safety management, infrastructure, safe vehicles, road user behaviour and our post-crash response,” Williams said.

According to her, a look at analysis of road accidents in the Northern Cape reveals significant issues that deserve attention.

“The main factor causing fatal crashes is human. More men than women are involved in fatal crashes with the age cohort 30 to 34 years, making up the highest percentage of fatalities at 19,8%.”

Critical days

Critical days of the week are Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, mostly between 16:00 and 22:00 in which mostly light motor vehicles, delivery vehicles and mini-bus taxi’s are involved due to tyre bursts, defective breaks and passenger overload.

“Categories of fatalities are in descending order passengers (51%), drivers (40%), pedestrians (32) and cyclists (4%).

“Making up the crash types are head on collisions (46%), multiple vehicle collisions (24%), overturns (14%) and head and rear collisions (5%).”

Main causes of accidents

The Northern Cape statistics reveals that the main causes of accidents includes driving under the influence of alcohol and or drugs, high speed levels, moving violations such as not wearing a seatbelt or cellphone use while driving and dangerous overta­king.

Vehicle fitness remains a major contributing factor as well as driver fatigue, overloading, pedestrian negligence, jaywalking, stray animals and sharp bends.

The province will monitor these roads closely:

R31 – Hotazel-Kuruman-Danielskuil-Barkly West-Kimberley;

N18 – Warrenton-Jan Kempdorp-Hartswater-Taung;

N12 – Christiana-Warrenton-Kimberley-Modderrivier-Hopetown-Britstown-Three Sisters;

N14 – Vryburg-Kuruman-Kathu-Olifantshoek-Upington-Kakamas-Springbok;

N8 – Groblershoop-Kimberley-Bloemfontein;

R385 – Olifantshoek-Postmasburg-Danielskuil;

N9 – Upington-Groblershoop-Brits- town-De Aar-Hanover;

N1 – Bloemfontein-Colesburg-Richmond-Beaufort West; and

N7 – Kamieskroon-Springbok-Steinkopf.

“Although the accident statistics of the Northern Cape remain the lowest on average nationally, we insist – one death is one too many.

“Our analysis may show a trend that is steadily stabilising.

“Much more can be done to achieve road safety targets set by the United Nations’ decade of action for road safety and the national road safety strategy.

“Towards this, an integrated festive season operational plan has been developed that will see the deployment of municipal, provincial, national traffic officers as well as members of the South African Police Services.”

Focus will be placed on the following aspects:

Speed and chain speed, moving violations, tactical road blocks, checking roadworthiness of public transport, stop and checks, drunk and driving, occupant safety, overload control (freight transport), dangerous driving, fatigue management, road safety education and awareness interventions at taxi ranks and media campaigns and engagement.

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