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SARF: Govt 'neglects' road safety

2012-04-18 10:53

Government is neglecting its road safety responsibilities, the South African Road Federation said citing the high number of heavy vehicles on our freeways and policing that is not visible enough for “one of the highest accident rates in the world”.

South African Road Federation president Logashri Sewnerain said, “For more than two decades, we have had one of the highest accident rates in the world,” and accused government and road traffic authorities of neglect.

“The numerous conferences, strategies, promises and campaigns held over the years have borne little, if any, fruit.

'ROAD SAFETY ... MORE THAN SPEED TRAPPING'

“The Minister of Transport rightly bemoans the poor culture of driver behaviour on our roads and appeals to the driving public to mend its ways, however, drivers are unlikely to do so unless the Minister issues a clear directive to the heads of the numerous traffic bodies that the rules of the road be strictly enforced.

“Road safety should involve much more than speed trapping. Moreover, the blatant disregard of traffic regulations must be punished.”

According to Sewnarain, another contributing factor is the increase in heavy vehicles on the country's primary routes. He cites recent research from the Durban University for Technology that shows the incidence of defective heavy vehicles (especially defective tyres) is far higher than was previously thought.

“There are few major highways in the world with such a high percentage of heavy vehicles. Almost daily, one or more of our major rural and urban arterials is blocked by a bus or freight vehicle which has either broken down or been involved in an accident causing extensive damage.

The SARF is, however, aware of the role heavy vehicles play in South Africa’s economy.

WHERE'S TRANSNET?

“SARF is mindful of the critical role that heavy vehicles play in the economy of the country – virtually everything we buy, from groceries to electronics to motor cars, has at some point in the logistics chain been transported by truck.

“The excess of heavy vehicles on the N3 and other major routes is primarily caused by the inability of Transnet to attract freight that rightfully should transported by rail.

“For many years now Transnet has planned to attract more freight to the railways, but as yet without any visible signs of success. SARF considers that the time has come to construct a dedicated freight route between Durban and Johannesburg, or physically separated lanes on the N3, to accommodate growing demand. An analysis by a noted transport economist has shown this to be economically feasible,” concludes Sewnerain.”

SAPA

Comments
  • Mike Purchase - 2012-05-01 21:34

    anc is neglecting everything except their own pockets

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