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SA road deaths: 'Driver attitudes have not changed' - AA

2017-08-23 08:18

Image: Phillip Hull

Janine Van der Post

Cape Town - 'The way things are currently standing, the South African national death toll will probably be the same, or worse, for 2017', says the Automobile Association as more than 39 people have died in four days on local roads.

Following a report by Netwerk24, at least 39 road users have been killed in a space of only four days.

The Automobile Association's Layton Beard told Netwerk24: "The numbers are self-explanatory. Motorists need to remember that driving is a responsibility and you have to think and drive for your fellow road users as well."

Read the original article here.

According to South Africa's Road Traffic Management Corporation, 14 071 people died on local roads in 2016.

Beard told Wheels24s that the AA is gravely concerned about the the current state of SA's roads: "The current road deaths tell an interesting story. In 2016, the RTMC reported 14 071 deaths and the way the numbers are standing at the moment, the national road death figure for 2017 is going to be higher or worse."

"There has to be a call for tighter law enforcement on our roads and it's clearly evident that drivers attitudes have still not changed. People are still constantly overloading their vehicles, and driver behaviour is only getting worse.

"The Automobile Association is very concerned about this, and especially the impact it will have on the national figure come year end."

Netwerk24 reported that 19 people died on Sunday (August 20) when a taxi crashed. Road crashes in Mpumalanga and Gauteng claimed another three lives.

The RTMC's official statistics shows that the death toll has risen from 13 500 in 2015 to 14 071 year on year in 2016. The figures for 2017 are not yet available.

The total costs of road crashes in SA estimated to about R14.95 billion or 3.4% of the GDP (gross domestic product).

Beard says the 2016 stats indicates that 5 400 of 2016's victims, or about 40% of all deaths, were attributed to pedestrians. 

Mindshift needed

Beard says several awareness campaigns are in operation to make pedestrians more visible.

He says: "It's very obvious that more needs to be done. The government and law officials has an important role, but at the same time, road users are not doing their part.

"The constant increase in road deaths indicates a huge problem but despite of this, you still find motorists using their cell phones while driving or using road navigation devices, putting on make-up reckless driving or trying to overtake others on a blind rise.

"There needs to be a mindset change with all road users and more focus on specific groups should be targeted for education on road safety, including parents, children, taxi drivers and public transport commuters.

The City of Cape Town's Alderman JP Smith says six taxi drivers were arrested for drunk driving on Friday during roadblocks, while another 86 were also arrested in two operations.

Two road deaths were also reported in the Western Cape, according to the province's department of transport and public works.

Netwerk24 further reports that the RTMC sent out a team of investigators to KwaZulu-Natal on Monday where 19 people died in a taxi crash. The driver of the minibus taxi allegedly fled the scene, said the RTMC's spokesperson Simon Zwane.

One person died in Gauteng while 14 died in 6 various incidents in Mpumalanga, while seven died in a crash in Limpopo, including a 6-year-old little girl.

Beard says that while the death toll is higher in some provinces than others, but it's evident that this is a national problem that needs to be addressed urgently.

Read the original article here.

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