Road toll: Count again, Carlisle!

2012-02-14 13:42

Western Cape transport minister Robin Carlisle has announced a 24% reduction in human road-kill in 2012 when compared to 2008.
Carlisle said: "At the beginning of 2009 I set a target of halving the year's death toll. 1739 people died on our roads in 2008; that dropped to 1567 in 2009, 1487 in 2010 and 1321 in 2011. So, through the efforts of our 'Safely Home' team and our road-safety partners, including many drivers, we have saved the lives of 1042 people."

No, Mr Carlisle! According to our collective standard grade mathematics we've come up with a figure of 418 lives saved, assuming you're working out the difference between each corresponding year. The figures released by the department however use 2008 as a "base" and then compare each year's figures and work out the difference according to the 2008 statistics. The trouble is you're theoretically "saving lives" two and three times over.

[Carlisle after reading the Wheels24 report admitted that his figures were inaccurate.]

Carlisle has called the six percent drop in fatalities during the 2011/2012 holiday period from that of the previous year "a slight decrease, but a significant one for the families of the 16 road users whose lives were saved".

One taxi load, in fact.

Carlisle said: "Through an intense 'Safely Home' campaign and the support of an increasing numbers of road users, we have managed to bring down the festive season 2010/2011 fatality figure of 259 to 243.  
"I am disappointed that the reduction was not greater but we have learned valuable lessons, particularly in respect of long-distance minibus taxi traffic."
483 roadblocks were conducted during December 2011 and January 2012 resulting in 161 989 vehicles being pulled over, claimed the  department said.

According to the department pedestrians and passenger made up the vast majority of road dead during the holiday. The department also reported success with its fatigue management programme for public transport drivers.
Carlisle said: "3250 long-distance public transport drivers were forced to rest for up to four hours as part of fatigue management on the N1 to the Eastern Cape."

  • Ebon - 2012-02-14 15:58

    Ok it's not an exact science, but given a few basic assumptions, neither Carlisle's, nor Wheels24's numbers are correct. But I suspect Carlisle was at least using the correct numerical approach (he just somehow added the numbers wrong, adding 200 somewhere, probably due to finger trouble). The assumptions are that road fatalities would have remained constant without their intervention (like I said, not an exact science) at 1739 per annum. That means that: In 2009, 172 lives were saved. In 2010, 252 lives were saved. In 2011, 418 lives were saved. Total = 842 lives saved. Bear in mind that traffic density is also increasing year on year, so statistically, one would expect the number of fatalities to be increasing. FYI, Wheels24, the problem with your assumption, which is why your quote is wrong is as follows: "The trouble is you're theoretically "saving lives" two and three times over." Well, he saves some lives in 2009, more in 2010, more in 2011. It's very simple really. A sustained reduction in accident rate will steadily increase lives saved as time goes on. This is why you shouldn't rely on Standard grade mathematics to try and evaluate these things.

  • stiaan.schoeman - 2012-02-14 17:12

    Regardless of the maths, they can save even more, if they remove taxi's of our roads...

      Trevor - 2012-02-14 19:10

      But..have you not heard, it's speed that kills and ONLY speed...that is what the Government keeps on telling us.....so you must be wrong...;o)

  • eyresa - 2012-02-15 09:09

    Since when does the N1 go to the Eastern Cape? There must be quite a few Gautengers and Free Staters around there very confused and wondering where they are. And how do the Capies get home from Gauteng now???

  • pages:
  • 1