Road safety starts with changing behaviour, says Mbalula after horrific weekend crashes

23 September 2019 - 16:37 By Nonkululeko Njilo
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula. File photo.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula. File photo.
Image: Masi Losi/Sunday Times

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has urged members of society to play an active role in road safety after the recent spate of fatalities on South Africa’s roads.

The call comes in the wake of crashes, each with multiple fatalities, in the Western Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga since last Thursday.

"We must all appreciate that safety on our roads is a collective responsibility we must all shoulder. Each one of us must be able to define their individual contribution to making our roads safer for our children as well as future generations.

"This starts with changing the behaviour that places the lives of other road users at risk," said Mbalula.

He said his department had taken solid steps towards curbing the fatalities, but cited road user behaviour as important in the process. 

"The roll-out of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) is not just about a more efficient way of adjudicating road traffic offences, but also about creating effective incentives to change road user behaviour," said Mbalula.

Among the steps to curb fatalities is the introduction of traffic policing as a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week activity.

Mbalula said all traffic authorities in the country were being engaged through relevant channels to ensure the implementation of the intervention did not negatively affect working conditions of officers.