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Tue Jul 26 02:43:20 CAT 2016

Country-wide public campaign to stop road carnage

TMG Digital | 07 March, 2016 19:05
“The importance of road safety to the economy and society at large provides a convincing case for decisive policies and strategies to address the problem. File photo
Image by: MOELETSI MABE

Efforts to curb the carnage on South Africa’s roads are being stepped up.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and the Department of Transport want to develop a four-year a road safety strategy that will begin with a series of meetings at provincial level.

In a statement released on Monday‚ the corporation set out a timetable for the meetings and presented horrifying accident statistics. It noted that there have been decreases in the road death toll in some years‚ but that more recently these had climbed again.

“In the past‚ South Africa has experienced reduced road traffic fatalities‚ with the figures reducing fairly steadily from 15‚419 in 2006 to 12‚702 as of 2014. Reductions in road deaths have however not decreased at the rate required for RSA to realistically meet the international aspirational goals laid out by the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 (UNDA) to achieve 50% reduction by 2020‚” the RTMC said in its statement.

It pointed to the economic costs of road deaths. “People injured or killed on our roads are often breadwinners in their families and important contributors to the economy at large.

“The importance of road safety to the economy and society at large provides a convincing case for decisive policies and strategies to address the problem.

“As a participant of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 (UNDA) for Road Safety‚ South Africa has endorsed the global undertaking to save up to 5 million lives‚ and contribute to preventing up to 50 million serious injuries by 2020.

“As part of this commitment‚ the government and its stakeholders developed a new‚ goals-based Road Safety Strategy that embodies the principles of the ‘Safe Systems’ approach and gives effect to the five pillars of the UNDA.”

The provincial sessions‚ to be led by local MECs‚ “will also serve to mobilise stakeholders to improve the country’s road safety record ahead of the Easter weekend. Long weekends and payday weekends are periods in which the country experiences an increase in road deaths.”

The dates and venues for some of the sessions are as follows:

09 March 2016 9am Mthatha Airport Eastern Cape

10 March 2016 9am Protea Hotel Landmark‚ Polokwane

10 March 2016 9am Kroonstad Civic Centre‚ Kroonstad‚ Free State

10 March 2016 9am Turfontein Race Course‚ Johannesburg‚ Gauteng

11 March 2016 9am Gene Louw Traffic College‚ Cape Town‚ Western Cape

11 March 2016 9am Pietermaritzburg Showgrounds‚ KwaZulu-Natal

Sessions for the Northern Cape‚ Mpumalanga and North West will be announced later.

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