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Drop SA's ‘speed kills’ campaign - AA

2014-05-16 12:51

ALL-TOO-COMMON OCCURRENCE IN SA: Crashes and road deaths have become the norm on SA’s roads. The AA believes that the true cause of our horrendous road death figure is due to ‘dangerous driving’. Image: SHUTTERSTOCK

The Automobile Association believes that authorities should shift its focus from "speed kills" to “moving violations" in order to reduce road fatalities and curb the cost of crashes in South Africa.

The Automobile Association said: "Crashes cost the country R42.5-billion in 1998, rising to over R300-billion in 2013. This rise far outstripped inflation.”

"Over the same period, traffic fatalities rose from 9068 in 1998 to probably at least 15 000 in 2013, although the real death toll is currently unknown - government has not released annual death tolls since 2011.”

‘WHERE ARE THE RESULTS?’

“We have been saturated with 'speed kills' messaging since the start of the Arrive Alive campaign in 1997, but where are the results?”

The AA cites that that road safety leaders such as the USA and England achieved relatively low road deaths by enforcing road safety rules often disregarded by South African drivers.

The AA said: "Speed prosecution is warranted when a motorist's speed is inappropriate for the circumstances, but we don't support the blanket statement 'speed kills' because there is little evidence to support it. What kills is dangerous driving."

The AA cites the following areas need better enforcing:
   • Illegal licences
   • Dangerous overtaking
   • Following too closely
   • Roadworthiness
   • Traffic light violations
   • Safety checks before manoeuvering.

The AA reports that an emphasis on moving violations could reduce road deaths by 25% and possibly save the country more than R150-billion a year.

The AA called on the Road Traffic Management Corporation to review its enforcement policies: "South Africa cannot claim to care for its citizens if it prioritises revenue generation over their safety."
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