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Pedestrians at risk during SA holiday period - EMS

2015-12-04 09:25

BE AWARE OF PEDESTRIANS: The Western Cape Emergency Medical Services asks road users to aware of pedestrians along national highways. Image: YouTube

Sean Parker

Cape Town - In November 2015, the Western Cape government, in conjunction with citizen-driven initiative Open Streets Cape Town, conducted 'street theatre' to educate the public about pedestrian safety.

Why would the city stage skits on public roads? According to the Western Cape Transport Department, more than 2800 pedestrians were hit by vehicles in central Cape Town from 2005 to 2014.

This equates to a pedestrian being run down in that area approximately every 28 hours for the past 10 years.

'Gruesome accidents'

Wheels24 spoke to Western Cape emergency medical services spokesperson, Robert Daniels.

Daniels said that road users should be aware of pedestrian along national highways. He added that it's illegal for a pedestrian to be on a highway, according to SA law.

Daniels said: "Socio-economic circumstances leave people with no other option but to walk next to those roads. And that's when you have those really gruesome accidents." 

Pedestrian crash - 'a haunting experience'

Daniels says there is a huge difference between a pedestrian being knocked-down in a CBD and one being hit by a vehicle travelling at highway speeds.

He said: "If a car hits you at 60km/h, you'll probably fall next to or go over the vehicle. But when a vehicle traveling a 120km/h knocks into a human body...the human body just isn't designed to withstand that sort of impact.

"It's an image that will haunt a driver for the rest of their lives."

Drive defensively

When asked about what drivers should do to avoid incidents on roads during the busy holiday period, Daniels noted a few key points:

  • Drive defensively   
  • Maintain a good following distance
  • Don't overtake recklessly
  • Do not stop next to a highway 

Watch the full interview here:

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