CAPE'S KILLER ROADS: More than 740 people have been killed on Western Cape roads since January 2015, more than 300 were pedestrians. Image: Shutterstock
CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape’s provincial safety project, Safely Home, has launched a new campaign in August to highlight the dangers of speeding.
The reason for the campaign? The province reports more than 740 road deaths to date (January to July 2015).
The campaign is titled 'It won’t kill you to slow down'.
Western Cape transport and public works MEC, Donald Grant, reports that from January to July 31 2014, 748 fatalities were recorded, compared to 742 road deaths during the same period in 2015.
2015 Western Cape road deaths (January - July):
Cyclist - 18
Driver - 178
Fell off vehicle - 2
Motorcycle-pillion - 1
Motorcyclist - 33
Other - 11
Passenger - 151
Pedestrian - 348
Total - 742
The department said: "Pedestrians remain the leading class of fatality on Western Cape roads, accounting for over 40% of the deaths. Upon closer analysis, we also found that adult men are disproportionately represented in the number of road deaths, accounting for over 60% of road deaths in the Western Cape.
"Road deaths for the first seven months of 2015 have painted a grim picture of the situation on our roads, with very little change between this year’s figure compared to that of 2014."
READ: WCape 'shock tactics' - MEC Grant responds
The department says its data proves:
• The faster you drive, the worse the crash will be due to the greater force involved.
• The faster you drive, the higher the likelihood of you being in a crash due to having less time to react to unexpected hazards.
• Even small decreases in average speed travelled equals many lives saved.
Having experienced six consecutive years of decreases since 2009 (close to 30% decrease), these static and high figures are cause for major concern, reports Grant.
There is no question that speeding, along with drinking and driving, accounts for the vast majority of the road deaths, says the department.
The department said: "Safely Home is confident that the collective efforts will go a long way to encouraging motorists to slow down, by greatly reducing their likelihood of being involved in a horrific crash that results in a senseless loss of life."
WHEELS24 READERS RESPOND
Richard Goodwin: Just imagine if Saps and traffic officers actually patrolled the roads, especially over peak times and removed drunk pedestrians from potential crashes. Can't always blame the poor tax paying motorist!
Mkhululi Benjamin Dabula: The government doesn’t listen to the people unless a high profile life is lost first and makes news headlines, only then will action be taken to curb loss of life. On average we lose one life a month on the N7 freeway between Dunoon and Richwood in the Western Cape and no action has been taken to stop this carnage despite the request to have a bridge built for pedestrians to cross over.
What do you think of the Western Cape's campaign for road safety? Do you think it will be effective in curbing road deaths? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts on Wheels24.