Opportunity there to reduce road
deaths if commitments are met
Following the Second Global High-level Conference on Road Safety in Brazil last week, which the Automobile Association (AA) attended, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters’ committed her department to nine key areas of improvement for road safety in South Africa. The AA welcomes this announcement.
It is hoped that the minister will follow through with her commitment in light of her comment that “South Africa needs to vigorously rally the support and active participation of multi-national companies, the business sector, civic society and NGOs to leverage on their tried and tested best practises in managing road safety for their companies, as well as attain resources to fund the country’s road safety agenda as a matter of priority”
The Minister is further quoted as saying: “The drive towards policy reform and enhanced compliance in these countries (Latin American and Caribbean countries) has been achieved through civic society leadership and activism.”
“This is especially good news for those organisations that are willing and able play a larger role in dealing with the road safety crisis in South Africa. We believe this message of including civil society organisations is critical and trust the government will engage with this sector for the benefit of all road users,” the AA said.
Importantly the Minister also touched on the issue of using statistics to refocus strategies “to address trending risk areas from time to time”.
“The dearth of reliable and timely statistics on road usage and road deaths is well documented. We believe this acknowledgement by the Minister will emphasise the importance of transparent statistics in measuring the success of road safety initiatives and will hopefully, as in the past, become a key focus area for her department,” the AA noted.
“With one of the highest road death tolls in Africa and indeed the World, South Africa, now has the opportunity to reduce the carnage on our roads by as many as 7000 deaths a year, if the Minister follows through on these commitments as we hope she will,” the AA concluded.
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