AA wants strategy to curb road deaths

2013-01-10 18:52

Johannesburg - A cohesive government strategy is needed to reduce the high death toll on the country's roads, the Automobile Association of SA (AA) said on Thursday.

"The Decade of Action was launched in 2011, and since then no real projects other than enforcement have been implemented," said AA spokesperson Gary Ronald.

"Real action to curb the road carnage is impossible when there is no cohesive strategy."

The Decade of Action for road safety was launched in more than 100 countries on 11 May 2011, by the United Nations to prevent five million road traffic deaths globally by 2020.

On Thursday, Transport Minister Ben Martins announced that 1 465 people had died on the country's roads in 1 221 accidents recorded between 1 December and 8 January.

He said about 40 percent of the deaths involved pedestrians, most of whom had walked onto roads while drunk.

Ronald said despite several strategies by transport bodies, there was still no policy framework for road safety in evidence.

He said the country needed organised and uniform action by the transport department and the Road Traffic Management Corporation.

"The continuing division between these bodies is clearly doing more harm than good, as the number of deaths on our roads has not decreased over the 2012 period," he said.

  • greg.quinn.353 - 2013-01-10 19:08

    Start by fixing the potholes

      piet.swart.946 - 2013-01-10 20:33

      Fixing potholes is a good thing, but will not fix the carnage on our roads. The main problem on our roads is that our safety hierarchy is totally upside down, and most of us are totally oblivious to that fact. Here the driver in the biggest vehicles are the kings of the road, and all else should watch out. The other issue is we are overaggressive as a nation and tend to always externalize problems (read: blame across racial lines - that is why many contributors here blame the taxi industry, when the problem is much bigger than that). In many first world countries a pedestrian gets priority over a cyclist, a cyclist over a motor cyclist and a motor cyclist over a car. Yes, in urban areas (not highways) car drivers usually stop to allow pedestrians or cyclists to cross. Here in South Africa most motorists would not even consider slowing down and stopping to let vulnerable pedestrians (e.g. elderly, parents with young children) cross the road, unless they are forced to do so by a red light. And most of us are totally addicted to our top 120 km/h speed limit (meaning many many of us regularly drive at 130-140 km/h). Taking into account our road carnage, the state of our roads and the attitude of many of our drivers, our top speed limit should be decreased to 100 km/h and properly enforced too. But no, it is much easier to e.g. blame the taxi industry than for all of us to accept our part of the blame and actually change our own behaviour. Just read the comments below.

      henry.prins - 2013-01-11 06:56

      That is a good start to fix the holes, but as Piet also touched on is the large vehicles having the most power on the road. Seperation of vehicles need to take place - we all share a single lane road, and the truck is the slow mover, and then vehicles such as taxis takes chances because they need to deliver people and are running on a time schedule This type of sharing on the road is like having only 1 swimming pool in a resort, and expect that the babies, the teens and the adults swim and dive without anyone getting hurt. Therefore the strategy would have to start with removing heavy vehicles from the road - and the only way to get this done is to get the rail system reliable and operational.

  • christelle.theron.3 - 2013-01-10 19:09

    Enforce the laws already in place. That is what other countries do! Simple, and that applies to everything

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-10 21:52

      We only compare ourselves to other countries when it suits. People in 'other countries' are generally scared of getting caught, locked up, having points taken off their licences and being banned from driving. Here, no-one cares. Even if people were banned from driving altogether, they'd still do it. It's partly law enforcement but it's mainly a "so what" attitude. Breaking of all laws seem to be meaningless to us unless we are the victims. We are the government, we made these laws. We have laws on the one hand and overall societal culture on the other. And ne'er the twain shall meet!

  • goyougoodthing - 2013-01-10 19:10

    How about: 1. Stopping drunk pedestrians. 2. 6 Month Roadworthy tests like normal countries 3. Stop corrupt licencing 4. Visible police not sitting behind a rock eating KFC 5. Take vehicles off the road that are not roadworthy. 6. Arrest flagrant law breakers starting with taxis and busses.

      christelle.theron.3 - 2013-01-10 19:12

      100% correct - simply stated, enforce the laws already in existance!

      koos.meyer.52 - 2013-01-10 19:53

      How about stopping all pedestrians walking on freeways, fat lazy cops just drive past, they are beyond useless. Taxis started the rot, and as they get away with it, normal motorists have followed suit.

      goyougoodthing - 2013-01-11 06:39

      Ramon therein lies the problem, I DON"T respect our government our cops and our officials. Lazy and corrupt go hand in hand with them. They should start to do their job.

      bob.mcmillen.564 - 2013-01-11 15:27

      Frustration causes many accidents, and there is nothing more frustrating than those morons who sit in the right hand lane blocking the rest of the traffic, drive on the left overtake on the right, it's actually the law here, I'm just not sure the traffic cops know it, I even see official learner vehicles actually sat in with a learner driver dawdling in the right lane, it's plain ignorance.

  • Amdyn - 2013-01-10 19:12

    1) Get rid of un-roadworthy vehicles 2) Do not allow municipalities to access traffic fines money for anything other than to maintain roads, improve roads 3) Make licensing trucks really expensive in order to reduce fleet sizes and push more products onto rail 4) Improve rail system to be competitive 5) Apply for tenders to companies to build a decent subway system 6) Improve public transport networks between big holiday destinations. Ensure safety and quality of transport.

      msophiasharp - 2013-01-18 11:41

      @Amdyn Here in Parktown this morning, traffic light was already green and cars passing through both directions when this so-called pedestrian and 'lerner' from a college just ignored the cars and red light for pedestrian and with me nearly knocking him down Thank God for ABS and Swedish technology, with me having to swerve almost out of my right-hand lane and with there being a car in left-hand lane next to me We as pupils in PRIMARY school were taught the basic rules as pedestrians Why oh why can PARENTS (??) and Schools not do the same today (I am turning 56)....

  • lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-10 19:19

    According to RTMC, 20% of drivers are causing 90% of the problems. Today a driver in front of me in the fast lane, talking on his cell (in his hand), looking and POINTING out the driver window (he was alone in the car so presume he was giving directions!), changes lanes without checking, gets half into the lane, gets hooted at because he cut someone off, then sticks on his left indicator and then swerves right back into my lane. These a-holes seriously need to be taken off the road for good.

      John - 2013-01-10 19:40

      Where were our illustrious traffic cops during these actions? Hiding in the bushes? Collecting MONEY? There is no MONEY in protecting our right to life and private property. If they were on the road plainly visible, the people just may behave. Surely this is what we all want.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-10 19:48

      @John, to be fair this was on the M5 in Cape Town - no bushes on that stretch. Totally agree we need better policing but we also can't expect a cop on every corner (or lane). There's a fundamental lack of thinking skills, chronic attention-deficit disorder, depth perception and really really lousy impulse control issues plaguing our land.

  • thys.louw - 2013-01-10 19:22

    Die probleem is nie spoed nie , maar die idiote wat 60-80 km/h ry op die oop pad , die motoriste raak de hel in en vat kanse , kyk by Grabou as vb hoe kan die idioot Nie sien hy /sy hou n string karre op Nie , dit is Nie my voorreg on 100 of 120 te ry Nie maar my reg ! ek jaag nie maar die stadige bestuurders het lisensie gekoop of voertuig is onpadvaardig of hulle is te oud , as jy bang is moet jy Nie bestuur nie

      dingiswayo.nyambose.1 - 2013-01-10 20:12

      Uyihlabe eskhonkisini mbhemu.

      dingiswayo.nyambose.1 - 2013-01-10 20:13

      Uyihlabe es'khonkosini mbhemu

      JOHNY63 - 2013-01-10 20:24

      Die Chiefs hier is stokhoringoud maar hulle ry blink 4x4's - splinternuut. Dan kry jy hom langs die pad en hy sukkel om sy voertuig in die pad te hou teen 50Km/uur.

  • rollingstone.kanyane - 2013-01-10 19:29

    ok AA there is one critical proposal to be put on the table which is one and only the banning SAB case closed

      nico.dejongh.90 - 2013-01-10 21:09

      Maybe the lines are too white..hic.

  • Teunis1985 - 2013-01-10 19:31

    Get traffic police off their lazy asses. I see cars taxis trucks and busses that are obviously unroadworthy drive right in front of the cops and aren't pulled over. People skipping stop streets and red lights too. Its easy to sit behind a camera and say you're doing what you can... there's a strategy to start off with AA.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-10 20:09

      I see taxis driving in the emergency lane at Hospital Bend - right past the cops. They do nothing. For me and the other gazillion homeward-bound commuters it raises the blood pressure just a tad. You can complain all you want, next week you will see the same. And you can sometimes see the vehicles are sometimes overloaded, more rims than tyres, etc. Talk about an unequal society

  • sean.bagley.50 - 2013-01-10 19:31

    Oh I see this is the real AA.Thought for a moment there it was the other bs AA with BEE and Quotas being it's cousins(LOL).

  • WuXingShou - 2013-01-10 19:36

    Close all KFCs!

  • Sherman Amos - 2013-01-10 19:37

    There are two immediate problems with the SA road safety environment, the first is the defiance mentality of road users that requires 24/7 policing the second the lack of credible, coherent, scientifically based and sustainable road traffic law enforcement. The majority of SA road users will attempt to circumvent any form of prosecution by inter alia, cloning and removing number plates to avoid being caught especially by means of camera, fitting laser jammers and detectors (notwithstanding that the majority of these if not all are placed randomly and not scientically placed based on accident research stats) slowing down where there are visible and known cameras and speeding up after passing these, not paying traffic fines and challenge the adjudication process to its limits (there is nothing wrong in doing this where this is warranted). This is a negative attitude and a road user cultural problem. The failure to comply with basic road safety rules for example keep left and pass right, wear safety belts, proper use of indicators indicating what you intend doing rather than what you are doing etc. Law enforcement needs national and strategic leadership void of rhetoric and threats and returning to basic enforcement of the rules of the road. This can be achieved by interr alia national regular year long and random alcohol testing at strategic locations and not only over Easter and Christmas if drunk driving is the main cause of fatal accidents. Less emphasis on speed kills as this is a misnomer and unqualified. Speed together with inexperience, poor visibility, unroadworthy vehicle, poor road infrastructure is what kills. There should be a lesser fight for constitutional rights and more emphasis on road user responsibility and safety first. What is mostly needed is a year long proactive law enforcement approach similar to that given to rhino poaching rather than a reaction to the current road traffic fatality stats. The payment of a traffic fine, rates and taxes are indicative of a responsible society.

      goyougoodthing - 2013-01-10 20:00

      All true. I don't drink and drive, I wear my seatbelt and drive a roadworthy car with all the latest safety gear. If I do speed and get a fine however, I REFUSE point blank to pay it until all other worse offenders are brought to justice as they should be. I know I am just as bad but I am sick and tired of paying anything to help continue the shambles that is government. I haven't been fined in years but I WILL throw any I get away. The alternative is to buy a very large truck with a bullbar and start to do the job of the speed cops - forcibly removing all the cars parked in yellow lines, red lines, jumping lights and stop streets until they get the message. I live in Durban and we have the worst and rudest drivers in the country and I am sick of them all. And you can tell the demographic of the driver by watching the actions, you don't even need to get close. It seems as if each group: male, female, black, white, indian and combinations thereof are preprogrammed in Durban to break a particular set of rules, it really is farcical.

  • zapadela.tistarocha - 2013-01-10 19:37

    Zero tolerance on driving under the influence of Alcohol. It has proven protocol throughout the Planet.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-10 20:14

      They first have to be caught, then the cops mustn't 'forget' to take the blood-alcohol test, or feel sorry because the driver was 'ill' etc.

  • WuXingShou - 2013-01-10 19:37

    Close all KFCs!

      christelle.theron.3 - 2013-01-10 19:44

      LOL:-) But true

      John - 2013-01-10 19:53

      Then we'll eat chinese or go to Nandos!

      dingiswayo.nyambose.1 - 2013-01-10 20:08

      And enjoy chinese delicacy-dog meat!

  • George Norman - 2013-01-10 19:39

    The law of the road must be applied. Hiding behind bridges and bushes with a camera is not law enforcement. Little or no consequence for offenders just adds to the lawlessness, Case in point: Just observe the William Nicol off ramp between 16:30 and 18:30 weekdays. The first issue is driver attitude/ discipline and law enforcement with meaningful consequences for offenders.

  • jurgen.eksteen - 2013-01-10 19:49

    I have a solution, but NOBODY will like it ... a "dry" festive season.

  • motho.batho.98 - 2013-01-10 19:58

    I think that we have enough laws, the problem is motorists who don't respect those laws; however, there are areas for improvement.

      jutice.forall - 2013-01-10 21:34

      I think you are right. Apart from the 40% drunk pedestrians, driver behavior is clearly the cause. Offenders, even for minor offenses should be nailed damn hard. Get more, ethical, law enforcement on the roads - even if they are hidden, after all, if you abide by the law, you have nothing to worry about. But noooo....already some respondents here believe it's their right to speed.

  • mandy.gibson.1401 - 2013-01-10 20:04

    Lets stop blaming the government and traffic officials for the carnage on the roads...if every person just decided to do the right thing then the roads would be a whole lot safer! many of us have allowed a friend to drive drunk?...even worse..driven drunk ourselves?...lets decide to do the right thing and not drive starts with every individual in this country

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-10 20:26

      How do you make people decide to do the right thing? Even those with legitimate licences *know* they're breaking the law and decide to do it anyway. We're a lawless society - we love breaking the law. Our rebellion, our revolution never ends. It's an astonishing and (seemingly) uniquely South African psychosis; we will do what we want and to hell with everyone else and all the consequences. We want to do this right here, right now and no-one better get in our way.

      zapadela.tistarocha - 2013-01-10 20:28

      This is the most pessimistic Canine.........

      koos.barnardo - 2013-01-10 20:57

      All well and good Mandy, but a lot of drivers on SA roads just don't have the brain power to know what the right thing is. Just see them drivng at 80km/hr in the second from right lane on the four lane N1 in Joburg

      koos.barnardo - 2013-01-10 21:14

      What I am trying to say is that some drivers don't even know the first rule of the road "keep left, pass right", so how would they know what the correct way is to control a potential killing machine.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-10 21:29

      @koos.barnardo - I think they do know, they just don't care. Partly because they won't get caught or if caught, will get some fine, but also partly because they are the only people that matter in their world. We have very good laws, little enforcement but even when it is enforced there's this bravado "stupid government", "stupid cops". There's zero sense of wrong-doing. Until they're up for murder/culp-hom charges. Then they cry "sorry" and beg society (the courts) for forgiveness and leniency.

  • patrick.saunders123 - 2013-01-10 20:11

    e-toll all roads. Thay way no-one can afford to use them.

  • marius.fourie.526 - 2013-01-10 20:14

    I would love to know the percentage between accidents cause by Speed..Driving under the influence...and just being a stupid idiot (Skipping road signs, changing lanes, overtaking on solid lines, inconsiderate) I think the idiots are more the problem. What about 40% deaths are caused by pedestrians!!

  • JOHNY63 - 2013-01-10 20:17

    When you travel in the rural area fom Burgersfort to Polokwane you must avert at least 5-10 head ons due to people blatantly overtaking on white lines. There is no discipline and no law enforcement officers on the road. Where are the unmarked vehicles they are talking about? Law enforcement only entails roadblocks - that is all.

      John - 2013-01-10 21:16

      Law enforcement does not make MONEY! It takes WORK and costs MONEY! POLICY ENFORCEMENT makes MONEY in fines or bribes! Which do you think cops will enforce?

  • roy.shellard.7 - 2013-01-10 20:19

    I totally agree with Goforyou good thing, all the points you mentioned are spot on!!! These dudes claim there is a reduction in road deaths, WRONG!!!!! Stop the friggin drunk predestrian on our rodes, running across highways, Come on Department Of Transport!!! Wake up!!! Take 40% of our figures plus the amount of passengers in the unroadworthy Taxis, we will be one of the safest countries around. Wake Up Arto !!! Roy

  • John - 2013-01-10 20:41

    Get the useless fat thugs to observe MOVING dangerous actions which cause a danger to others. These are reckless, negligent and inconsiderate actions which must be brought to the ATTENTION of the perpetrator. Anyone who endangers one or ones property is committing a CRIME! This is WORK with precious little MONEY to be made which is why it is not pursued! POLICY ENFORCERS make MONEY! Peace officers keep the peace and protect and serve private lives and private property, no MONEY to be made!

  • pddekock - 2013-01-10 21:04

    Its actually easy just put alcohol sensor on the ignition

      cemslie - 2013-01-10 21:17

      And get the car guard to blow for you??? Seen that done overseas with cars already fitted with such devices!!

      pddekock - 2013-01-10 21:37

      Blow while you drive haha

  • cemslie - 2013-01-10 21:15

    I see taxis daily on my wat home from work with absolutely no regard for the traffic rules, driving against oncoming traffic in the wrong lane and still hooting the oncoming cars out the way, traffic lights are just pretty things on the road that change colors every now and then, they force their way in feint of you with no indication whatsoever, and when u challenge them they wave a gun a you!!! No jokes!! The traffic through Potsdam road in the afternoons is laughable and the taxis create even more chaos as they refuse to wait in line like everyone else. People talking on cell phones and texting while driving is the next serious issue. And yet all the while not a single traffic official is seen EVER!!!

  • - 2013-01-10 21:22

    Ons het in Suid Afrika ongeveer 50 miljoen mense. As die dodetal gedurende Desember as % uitgdruk word van die totale bevolking is dit gelyk aan .0029 %. As die voetgangers afgetrek word van die 1450, wat dan gelyk is aan 870 in motor ongelukke is die % .00174 % - dus 28.06 mense per dag. Dit sal interessant wees om te weet hoeveel mense sterf per dag op natuurlike wyse! of nog erger per dag (pad ongelukke) gedurende die jaar , buite seisoen tye! Kom ons kyk wat kan ons doen om die syfers te verminder! As jong laerskool kind was daar in elke dorp/stad 'n "mini dorpie" met strate en padtekens opgerig. Die graad 1 (sub A) is een keer per week na die dorpie geneem vir opleiding deur verkeersbeamptes. Verskillende kinder vervoermiddels is aan gewend. Dus is baie vroeg in die kind se lewe padverkeer reels vasgelê. Voetganger opleiding was dus ook deel van die program!! Kom ons gaan kyk na praktiese kennis van verwerwing van 'n motor lisensie!!! Die kleinste motor word gebruik, @ 45 km per uur, driepunt draai, teen 'n opdraende wegtrek, kyke na links en regs ens, alles teen 'n baie stadige spoed en slegs in die stad op dorp! Nêrens is daar opleiding om 'n motor te hanteer in nood!!! bv vinnig stop, die skatting van afstand ens. Dus gebrekkige opleiding en vereistes geld vir elke motor bestuurder! Hoe veel dorp/stede het nog sypaadjies!!!, so behoort paaie ge-identifiseer word vir fietsryers wat wel 'n sykant het wat afgemerk is!!! is alle paaie geskik vir swaar voertuie!!!

  • John - 2013-01-10 21:49

    I notice that when there is a VISIBLE cop car or bike then people behave themselves. Therefore we need VISIBLE peace officers not sneaky trapping covert cowardly corrupt bribe extracting policy enforcing THUGS!

  • rob.bayliss.94 - 2013-01-10 21:51

    You, the driver reading this.... A few days ago the News 24 question asked about adhering to the driving laws. Almost 40% responded that they ALWAYS obey them. Now do what I did yeaterday and stand besides a stop sign and count the number of cars that stop. I watched 50 and gave up.....not a single one stopped. There lies a big part of this problem!

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-10 22:07

      In my neighbourhood, only 1 in 15 cars seem to be fitted with indicators. As most are very expensive R250 000+ cars, I can only think that they've been ripped off

      John - 2013-01-10 22:21

      Where was the VISIBLE peace officer? at the local KFC buying a bucket with his bribes for the morning?

      John - 2013-01-10 22:24

      Did they at least yield to the right?

      rob.bayliss.94 - 2013-01-10 23:08

      My 'field trip' simply highlights the enormous gap between a driver's perception of their habits and the reality. It also seems to indicate that obeying traffic signs is considered by many to be optional. and John, there were no incidents so I guess one can presume that the drivers yielded appropriately. As for KFC...maybe they should be moved to fourway stops and have outside seating!

  • bernie.sproston - 2013-01-10 22:13

    Keep left pass right.

  • Paul Zwiegers - 2013-01-11 00:52

    remove the taxi's and the death toll will decrease

  • chris.potgieter.73 - 2013-01-11 07:16

    Why is the AA calling for this strategy? Fact is that all the laws needed exist already! The opportunity is blatant: Government must get with the program and deliver what is required in the laws that have been passed. On national roads a system of speed over distance monitoring must be implemented but as a live system not one that get the offender via the post. They must be pulled over at the next town and fined on the spot. This will need control rooms in each town but they can be funded out of the fines collected as I remain sure that the stupid amongst us will continue to offend.

  • luna.moon.5243817 - 2013-01-11 08:28

    all vehicles must be restricted electronically by the manufacturers, to a maximum speed of 100 km/h. No trucks should be allowed on the roads during holidays.

  • Blemz - 2013-01-11 08:58

    Start with doing random checks on vehicles working condition. How many a car is driving in mist and rain with no lights or defective brakes and with cars that are not even road worthy thus risking the lives of other road users. And cops need to be visible and check for over taking on barriers which is very common.

  • Blemz - 2013-01-11 09:08

    Drunk drivers must have their licenses suspended. drunk drivers senses are below average and depending on how drunk a person is, thats how to judge how dangerous he is to be on the road. And it must be Compulsory for taxis and vans to have reflector tape on them just as its compulsory for trucks and buses. But most importantly, you can have all the rules and regulations.....but if you dont have commited people to implement...then its a waste to even discuss. So the cops have be more pro active and more visible. 0 tolerance!

  • RonW - 2013-01-22 19:40

    I have developed and patenteed a system which won't prevent or reduce accidents, but is probably the only sytem worldwide that can, if implemented save many lifes, by reducing the time it takes emergency teams to respond and arrive at the location of an emergency or situation. This is claimed to be one of the biggest factors in the loss of life in virtually every study and report published, and applies to any emergency situation not only on roads. It is claimed in studies that a 1 minute reduction in emergency response time increases the chnace of survival by 24%. We keep hearing do your part, create jobs, encourage SA's to be innovative etc etc. Well, Been there done that. Sent all the info regarding the system to every deptartment and person involved throuhout SA and did not even get a acknowledgement of receipt from 1 addressee, I got from overseas organizations but not from amy in SA. Check it out So my question remains, are they serious about lowering the death rate? You would think the authorities would look into or investigate any mens or doing so!

  • samgaf - 2013-01-22 20:14

    First you demolish all the taxi`s and then build more fucXXX railroads,you dickheads!

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