Road safety needs major shift - DA

2013-01-10 22:13

Johannesburg - A "major shift" is needed to address the high number of festive season road deaths, the DA said on Thursday.

"It is clear that the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) is largely ineffectual in stemming the annual tide of festive season road deaths," Democratic Alliance transport spokesperson Greg Krumbock said in a statement.

"A major shift is therefore needed in how we approach road safety."

He was responding to Transport Minister Ben Martins' announcement earlier that 1 465 people were killed in 1 221 accidents recorded between 1 December and 8 January.

Martins said about 40% of the deaths involved pedestrians. Most of them had walked onto roads while drunk.

Krumbock said the DA agreed with Martins that drivers' attitudes needed to change.

"This will require sustained, comprehensive road safety campaigns to be implemented at all levels of government."

Provincial and local government needed to boost awareness through road safety campaigns, particularly in schools, he said.

"Such campaigns need to be waged on an ongoing basis in order to bring about behaviour changes necessary to keep people safe on the road."

The Inkatha Freedom Party was shocked at the death toll, its safety spokesperson Velaphi Ndlovu said in a statement.

"It seems like the festive season has turned South African roads into a war zone... Something drastic needs to be done about it now."

He said the current road safety strategies were "obviously not working".

"[The] IFP therefore calls on [Martins] to hold a National Road Safety Indaba, which must come up with drastic ways of putting an end to the wholesale slaughter of innocent people on our roads."

Ndlovu said an indaba should also consider ways to protect motorists from drunk pedestrians, and what penalties these pedestrians could face if they survived road accidents.

"Until the situation can be reversed, the IFP re-iterates the call for a lifetime licence ban for all convicted drunk drivers.

They simply cannot be allowed to destroy the lives of innocent people with such impunity," he said.

  • lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-10 22:30

    Saying AGAIN, if you trapped and patrolled on the M5-Koeberg in the morning and in the evening, you would fund the entire Province's traffic management budget in one month. From speeding, talking on hand-held cell phones, doing 30 in an 80k zone, overtaking on a solid white line, dangerous overtaking, overloaded/unroadworthy taxis, kids jumping up and down on the passenger seat, people refusing to merge from the merge-lane. Then on Hospital Bend, all those taxis whizzing by in the emergency lane (right past traffic cop cars!), crossing yellow lines, etc. The list goes on. Attitudes need to change. Unfortunately we are a society who only seem to respond to stringent and unrelenting law enforcement. We've had enough now. We need more traffic cops, more cops on motorbikes and highway patrol needs to PATROL not sit at a strategic point with lights flashing. California did it, we can too

  • Julia Griffiths - 2013-01-10 22:31

    What is needed is a change in Metro & Provincial law enforcement attitudes. They need to stop this cash cow attitude of speeding fines and start enforcement of road traffic rules. That does not mean stopping speeding fines but enforcement of rules is needed. Secondly violations by taxi, truck & other road users need to be implemented ASAP

      womba.wonder - 2013-01-11 01:11

      Speedcops are afraid of being shot dead by traffic violators they dare to pull over and confront face-to-face, so they avoid doing so.

      phillip.havenga - 2013-01-11 07:52

      womba.wonder that just shows what a failure our law enforcement system is.

  • james.f.blyth - 2013-01-10 22:36

    Statistically it is probably the safest time to drive on the roads as the traffic volume is way up. The total number of road deaths from 1 December to 8 January may seem high but let's not forget that every month nearly a 1000 people die on our roads. Yes attitudes need to change for the whole year.

  • garrick.dunstan - 2013-01-10 22:39

    agreed, law enforcement, not campaigns and billboards and fancy stickers at toll plazas. catch them, prosecute them and penalise them. when will the long awaited demerit system actually get implemented?

  • John - 2013-01-10 23:00

    The MAJOR shift of the lazy fat useless thugs rears into gear to look for MOVING violations that actively endanger others. WE do not need hidden cameras, bribe extracting covert sneaky thugs in the bush out to make MONEY for their CORPORATE masters. Patrol the roads VISIBLY!! Cops are not the master! They are the SERVANT!

  • manie.vanwyk.12 - 2013-01-10 23:04

    WE NEED MORE pull off sones with braaivleis versility's,,,rest ,,tummy full and off you are,,

  • - 2013-01-10 23:40

    I visited 7 African countries to date. Their rules on the road are non-existing and all the trafic officials/police are corrupt. Previously I proudly explained to the people that South Africa was vastly different to them and we are not a 3rd world country. That changed and I must now admit to them that our roads are the same. We officially joined "The African way". I'm very sad to see my country bleed like this.

  • Angazi Ubani - 2013-01-11 00:00

    this is not a matter of black, white, ANC or DA. it's a matter of how much u value life. Change the way you drive and react to peoples driving on the road. be the example to your children and those around you. the government is doing us wrong on many platforms, but it is up to us to do what is right for the better life of those to come after us. i chose to be an example, with the hope that those who see will be inspired and care for other road users. dnt point fingers, make a difference.

  • Angazi Ubani - 2013-01-11 00:20

    it's not a matter of race, political party in power nor fear of consequences. it's a matter of how much one values life. how disciplined are u on the road and what example do u set as a road user? if every road user was to take the value of life seriously and respected the next road user, don't u believe road accidents will be low? take that step to becoming the better example, u would not have to pay bribes if u followed the rules. we as a country should value each other, just as much as this apartheid might be said to have finished, racial prejudice is still within many of us regardless of our race. let's simply respect each other, it's as simple as that.

  • simon.carter.5836711 - 2013-01-11 05:57

    Remove the 40% of drunks from the equation who no one gives a crap about. Remove the taxi accidents, ditto which is 50% at least. We are left with 10% = 140 deaths.

  • Peter Zylstra - 2013-01-11 06:14

    The traffic cops are the ones needing education. I have yet to see a cop pull of a overloaded taxi or arrest a pedestrian on a free way. By doing these simple things the death toll would be at least 70% less!

  • vicky.john.1297 - 2013-01-11 06:44

    An average of 1000 deaths on our roads EVERY month - makes the 1400 odd look like a decrease given the higher traffic volumes during this period . Continuous action needs to happen EVERY month, and untuil there is a culture of respect for road laws, it ain't gonna happen. If 1000 people die on the roads each month, in Gauteng alone approx 50 babies are born each day - doesn't look like we are going to run out of population any time soon.

  • janet.odendaal - 2013-01-11 06:48

    A Police cruiser in your rear window makes everyone drive properly a lot more than hiding behind a bush, and if pedestrians got fined for jay walking on a freeway then a lot of this could be stopped. If caught over the limit suspend licence and heavy fine,

  • sbusiso.dlamini.79 - 2013-01-11 06:57

    I am a taxi driver and some of us are deeply concerned about the so many accidents on the roads and by far we are cause, and I think those who say we need drastic steps to change the situation are correct. I don't know whether banning alcohol completely will yield the results, this I know I had my licence in 2003, been driving a taxi for 5 years, I have been tested for alcohol once in 9 years, my point is alcohol can be banned, but I don't think we have a capacity to test drivers as often as possible and not only on saturday mornings. Some drivers were arrested during the festive season but believe me thousands and thousands were not caught and those are the once causing accidents. Taxi drivers drives daily with whiskeys under their seats, and they know they won't be caught, who will test them, when, where, and if they are caught bribe is an option. We need drastic steps, YOU GET CAUGHT DRINKING AND DRIVING, YOUR LICENCE IS CANCELLED, the authorities should not be linient, why should they be if someone is putting others at risk. If I had my way I would use the 12 billion, RAF paid out to claims to police every taxi rank especially long distance, by mayb e having personnel checking drivers and vehicle before leaving, some drivers work locally during the day and at 5pm take a load to Joburg, that person is not in a state to drive that far but since there are no mearsures in place, peoples lives are at risk. Train drivers, do something different because these ad campaigns are yielding only negative results.

  • kevin.nicklin - 2013-01-11 07:05

    I will only take the minister of transport and the ANC seriously when they start addressing their internal deficiencies that create risk on the roads. For instance, the Beit bridge border post. Motorists had to sit there for between 14 to 20 hours in the hot blazing sun before clearing through the border. Now they are exhausted and not all of them can afford accommodation. They have to drive from there in a tired state of mind to their intended destination in this state. They risk falling asleep behind the wheel and are a huge risk to road users. Address this concern ANC and you will see a decrease in such related accidents.

      rude.awakning - 2013-01-11 07:49

      drunken driving, speeding/wreckless driving, unroadworthy vehicles, unlicenced drivers, overloaded buses/taxis, poor upkeeping of roads etc. Must surely play a part in the SA road fatalities and the aforementioned is a each one a factor as much in the western cape (DA) as it is elsewhere in SA(ANC): Crime and lawlessness in general must be addressed by all, government and societies alike!

  • jairaj.sureschandra - 2013-01-11 07:36

    In sum, if we continue to build residential areas right next to freeways and if we don't completely prevent pedestrian access onto those freeways, we will, sadly see no change to deaths of pedestrians on freeways. Far too many pedestrians think that they are faster than vehicles. In addition, there are far too many traffic infringers and far too few traffic prosecutions of traffic infringers. In my opinion, the law should accommodate the prosecution of traffic infringers by ordinary citizens .........

  • - 2013-01-11 07:41

    Most pedrestians..40%?? As long as they can bike, walk run, ride, on all our higways and the motorists don't respect the pedrestians right of way on ped crossings nothing will change! It is not the awareness programm which will help it is the mind set of the drivers and the pedestrians who need to change! Fence off the highways and make more safe crossings for the people! Do a propre theorie test for future drivers and but them in classes of practical driving as a must!!

  • bradleykronson - 2013-01-11 07:42

    Driving to and from Johannesburg and Port Alfred this December, the only "active" policing I saw was cops hiding behind their cameras, if there was a strategy, it was revenue production....

  • Don - 2013-01-11 07:48

    The only way that motorist's attitudes will be changed or influenced is by implementing AARTO. This has been proven accross the world so why would it not work in SA?. Is it about fines and budgets or peoples lives ?. The RTMC is making AARTO too complicated and must implement it urgently for moving violations only and resolve the proxy issue. Until this happens the death rate and disregard for traffic laws is guaranteed to stay high.

  • Dennis - 2013-01-11 07:57

    How is changing drivers attitudes going to stop drunk pedestrians from getting squashed?

  • jairaj.sureschandra - 2013-01-11 08:01

    Political parties need a major mind shifter. The political parties in this country must not get the impression that they can solve the country's problems in isolation of the people of this country. I believe that they presently have such an impression. In my experience, I have found that much of the solutions to the country's problems can be provided by the citizens of the country, irrespective of their political affiliation. Important issues as road safety, in my opinion, has nothing to do with politics. The same should hold true for such issues as employment, education, health etc... Therefore the political parties should consult with their citizens on such important issues, and in so doing give the citizens their right to be heard on such issues. I believe that, by using this method, we can all participate in achieving a better country for all .....

  • BobM6389 - 2013-01-11 08:15

    The major shift that is required is an effective and non-corrupt enforcement body. You can have all the laws but without effective enforcement you can forget about reducing the death on our roads. Fair enforcement is a 24/7/365 job which the powers that be dont seem to understand, and not just a few weeks during the holiday season.

  • Eterni80 - 2013-01-11 08:23

    SA drivers need a major mindset change as well - have you been out on our roads of late ?? it's like people came back from leave and have forgotten how to drive - if I had a webcam on the dashboard of my car I'd be able to show you some of the worst/scariest driving you've ever seen. there have always been road deaths, even since before the ANC took over.

  • diane.vosloo - 2013-01-11 08:58

    The sad thing is there is an absence of traffic officers on the roads over the festive season. Especially so on 'minor' routes.

  • yanga.maroloma - 2013-01-11 09:03

    *yawning* even if it was not mentioned which party that is doing the moaning, obviously its THE DA. Moaning champions of South Africa. Sooo now that you got our attention DA, what do you propose?? Campaigns in schools. What, are school pupil drive cars drunk or walk in the road drunk in nowadays!!! Mnxm, shutUp and sit down. @IFP, stop polical killings first, mybe then we will listen to you.

      jairaj.sureschandra - 2013-01-11 10:29

      Too much yanga, yanga, yanga... Even my computer don't recognise yanga.. At least the DA is making some attempt albeit not an outstanding one. But what do you propose. As usual, nothing. No positive contribution from you. Your two cents worth, in your various comments, are noted however. Road safety and allied matters have nothing to do with politics. But it does concern the law, which parliament/council must promulgate. The Politicians should divorce themselves from the fact that they each affiliate to different parties and deal with the real issue, in this case being road safety. Maybe you should study at a real university .......

  • kent.harding.9 - 2013-01-11 09:07

    The best solution 2 this problem is camaras, lot nd lots of camaras nd signs telling ppl that they r being watchd on the road. Nd these camaras must nt just check for speed bt bad driving 2 especialy illegal overtaking. Nd they can even put up sum dummy camaras if they r worried about cost, ppl wil nt knw which r real nd which r not, this wil put the fear of fines nd jail time in them nd l think it wil worj.

  • marilyn.docherty.9 - 2013-01-11 09:10

    Begin by implementing the RULES THAT ARE IN PLACE! Ensure cops who take bribes are fired immediately!! IN general there needs to be a shift in attitude by the drivers in our country - respect for fellow motorists and follow the rules of the road.

  • francois.viljon - 2013-01-12 07:02

    Keep drunk people off the road!! If 40% of those killed, were drunk pedestrians they were not "innocent" They are guilty of their own deaths. @Tyron and Leonard. It is pointless to do "rear-view" mirror driving and try to decide if the ANC is to blame or not and if things got better or worse. The RTMC and the minister of transport fail the South African people. Another indaba is not needed. The way to address this problem is to REMOVE POLITICS from the issue and to make it a national safety priority. Any engineer can do a root cause analysis on a road by road, province by province basis. If drunk pedestrians is the main problem in one province or on a specific road, find ways to get them off the roads. If bad road conditions is a problem in another area, fix the roads, If head-on collisions and overtaking on blind rise is a problem, widen the road, etc. The way to eat an elephant is "One bite at a time". The problem is general but the solutions to the problem is local.

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  • Adriaan Theron - 2013-11-03 08:51

    Forget about the stupid slogan of "Speed kills". It is not true for roadworthy vehicles with good drivers. What needs attention is stuff like the use of the yellow lane. Some think it is a parking space, others that it is a driving lane whilst it is neither! Some of the largest accidents in SA happens in the yellow lane. Go check the statistics.

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