TAKING A GRIM TOLL: The AA says the 2015/16 holiday road-death figures are of great concern and does not bode well for the rest of the festive period. Image: AFP
Cape Town - The number of fatalities on South African roads during the 2015/16 holiday season has already surpassed 500, the Automobile Association (AA) said.
The AA says the latest figures is of great concern and does not bode well for the rest of the festive period.
The Association warned that the number of fatalities at the end of the festive season would not be dissimilar to those of previous years.
'Lack of responsibility'
The AA said: “While government has a significant role to play in reducing road deaths, there appears to be a total lack of responsibility by some motorists; they are being reckless with their own and other motorists’ lives."
“There are, unfortunately, too many people who still don’t follow the rules: they don’t buckle up when driving, exceed speed limits, talk or text on their cellphones behind the wheel or drive after drinking. Better law enforcement and a generally improved sense of responsibility among drivers are two areas that must be addressed urgently.”
Global road deaths: How does SA compare?
Another area of concern is the high number of pedestrians killed on SA's roads. The AA said improved education was needed to ensure people crossing or walking along roads understand the risks.
The AA: “Too often we hear of pedestrians crossing busy roads, or even highways, sometimes at night when visibility is poor. Children especially need to be better equipped to walk on our roads because, clearly, not enough is being done at the moment."
Apart from this, the AA said, there was an urgent need to ensure comprehensive and correct statistics are made available on fatalities and injuries reflecting not only the festive periods but the entire year.
The AA said: “We have said previously that this is an important part of gauging the success or failure of any initiative but the numbers remain elusive. Unless government is able to provide these figures, no-one will have a clear picture of the situation on our roads or where interventions are most needed.”
SA road deaths: Interactive map:
The World Health Organisation rates SA's roads: