Furore over road death toll
The Justice Project South Africa has rejected the charge that it is trying to mislead the public after it alleged that that the Department of Transport and the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) “have withheld regular updates on the 2015/16 festive season death toll”.
Justice Project SA Chairperson Howard Dembovsky said the last time the latest figures reflecting the death toll were released‚ was around the 20th of December.
“It is very difficult to understand what their motivation for doing so is given the fact that this is the first time in South African road safety history that our annual road fatalities during the festive season have not been reported on an on-going basis every two or three days. And quite frankly I don't think this is in the interest of road safety‚” Dembovsky said.
ER24 said that their figures show an increase in the number of road fatalities compared to the previous years.
The RTMC’s Simon Zwane told the SABC on Tuesday that the Justice Project SA is trying to mislead the public.
On Wednesday‚ Justice Project SA said: “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 Mr Zwane nor the RTMC have made any contact with us to point out where we may have ‘erred’.”
JPSA said it is challenging the RTMC “to provide proof of any media statements it has issued during the 2015/16 festive season wherein the ongoing preliminary road death toll has been reported”.
Should the RTMC be unable to do so‚ JPSA would demand that the RTMC “issue a public apology for making such serious and malicious‚ unfounded allegations against JPSA”.