RED-LIGHT SKIPPERS: South African Road Federation president Innocent Jumo (inset) wants law enforcement to declare war on the drivers who skip red traffic lights. Image: Fin24/ Duncan Alfreds
Cape Town - The South African Road Federation (SARF) is calling on the minister of transport to urge law enforcement to declare war on the practice of 'shooting the red'.
Innocent Jumo, president of SARF, said: “Excessive speeding has been earmarked as one of the leading causes of fatal road accidents in South Africa today.
"“However, we are not seeing nearly the same level of exposure being given to what we believe is responsible for just as many fatal accidents – red traffic light and stop street violations."
Speeding - an epidemic in SA?
SARF says it believes that the practice of shooting the red has become an epidemic in South African cities.
Jumo said: “It’s as if certain drivers on our roads see a red light, and believe that this is a signal for them to speed up and race through. The consequences are devastating.”
Watch: Taxi jumps double red-light
SARF adds that while South Africa doesn’t have sufficient statistics that measure the impact of this reckless driving behaviour, there is a ripple effect that extends far beyond the disturbing violent scenes we see on our roads as a result.
Read: SA's red-light skippers: 'Reckless and dangerous'
Read: Do you skip traffic lights? More than 8000 say YES
'One of the most dangerous types of crashes'
Jumo said: "A T-bone or angle crash is considered one of the most dangerous types of crashes on our roads because it pits one vehicle’s front-end against another vehicle’s vulnerable passage compartment.
"The red light runner is usually driving at excessive speeds in order to beat the red, and just to add insult to injury - it’s often not the violating driver who is killed, but his passengers or the innocent victims crossing the intersection from the other side.”
'Charged with murder'
SARF urges government to change legislation pertaining to reckless driving.
Jumo said: “Frankly we would like to see these drivers being arrested and charged with murder.
“We would also like to see the implementation of a high visibility campaign, where each and every driver on our roads becomes aware that the practice of shooting the red will not be tolerated on our roads."