The Automobile Association is outraged that there has been very little action from the Department of Transport, or any of its agencies, to support the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety.
Just over a year ago, on 11 May 2011, the UN Decade of Action was launched with much fanfare by the Minister of Transport who dedicated his department and the nation, to reducing road crashes by 50% over the next ten years.
The Decade of Action has as its strategy five pillars for action. The categories or "pillars" of activities are: building road safety management capacity; improving the safety of road infrastructure and broader transport networks; further developing the safety of vehicles; enhancing the behaviour of road users; and improving post-crash care.
Since May 2011, there has not been any significant intervention which would support the Decade of Action goals. The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has continued with its rolling enforcement plan – which was in effect before the launch last year.
“It is a disgrace that a year has passed since the global launch and South Africa has yet to finalise and implement its own National Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan for 2011 - 2020. This despite the Ministerial undertaking on 11 May 2011 to consult with government, business and civil society in this regard”, said Gary Ronald, Head of Public Affairs at the AA.
“The RTMC was identified as the lead agency to promote road safety in South Africa as long ago as 2010 with the Accra Accord, but other than an old existing enforcement plan, no new safety interventions have been forthcoming. The Ministry and the agencies of government are failing in their duty to lead the battle in reducing the carnage on our roads, and at what cost?” he continued.
It is estimated that road crashes cost the South African economy R140 billion in 2009.
Automobile Association of South Africa (AA)
011 799 1180