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Govt faces challenge: Where are the SA road death figures?

2016-01-07 07:53

HOLIDAY ROAD DEATHS: RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said a consolidated report of all crashes and fatalities would be released at the end of the festive season in January 2016. Image: ER24 / Supplied

Sergio Davids

Cape Town - Earlier in January 2015, Wheels24 reported that the Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) questioned the lack road death statistics by the Road Traffic Management Corporation and the Department of Transport.

JPSA claims both organisations stopped 'reporting the ongoing death toll' on SA's roads.

RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane has hit back claiming that the JPSA is misleading the public.

Full report due in 2016

Zwane said a consolidated report of all crashes and fatalities would be released at the end of the festive season in January 2016.

Zwane said: "It is critical that South Africans are provided with accurate and verified information about the state of safety on the roads because roads are a shared space and users are important stakeholders.”

Where are the reports?

JPSA chairperson, Howard Dembovsky, says the last time figures for the 2015/16 holiday season were released was December 20th.

The JPSA issued the following statement: "Justice Project South Africa has noted the serious allegations made by Simon Zwane of the RTMC to the effect that 'Justice Project SA is trying to mislead the public', apparently made in retaliation to our criticism that the Department of Transport and the RTMC have withheld regular updates on 2015/16 festive season death toll as well as failed to issue a single comprehensive 'Road Traffic Report' since 2011.

"JPSA has today written to the RTMC demanding that it furnishes proof that our assertions are or were untrue and that it justifies its serious allegation since it is our standpoint that there was nothing misleading about either of the statements we made. We further place on record that despite making these serious allegations in the media, neither Zwane nor the RTMC have made any contact with us to point out where we may have 'erred'."

Apology to be issued but by whom?

JPSA states that should the RTMC produce its 2015/16 holiday season road-death report, as well as previous reports from 2011, it will issue an apology.

The organisation adds: "Should they however fail to do so, we have demand that Zwane and the RTMC issue a public apology for making such serious and malicious, unfounded allegations against JPSA."

Click here to read the JPSA’s full response

Threatening drivers

Earlier in December 2015, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC)  warned road users they could be arrested for traffic offences  during the holiday season. News24 published a list of 9 traffic offences, that could, the RTMC says, land you in jail.

JPSA said: "Instead of communicating facts, the RTMC has chosen to engage in threats against motorists, some of which have been invalid since they would constitute unlawful arrest.

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Read more on:    jpsa  |  rtmc  |  howard dembovsky  |  south africa  |  road deaths

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