South African roads are fast acquiring a reputation as being some of the most dangerous in the world.
This is partly due to road conditions and vehicle roadworthiness but more so because of road user attitude. The Automobile Association (AA) has noted that the increasing number of crashes on our roads are because of a combination of poor law enforcement, blatant disregard for the law by drivers and the shockingly inept systems that are currently in place when it comes to prosecuting road offenders. The equivalent of at least ten schools’ learners are killed every year on South African roads.
“A perfect example of this is the taxi industry. How does a newly licensed driver respect fellow road users when examples of reckless or inappropriate behaviour when driving are all around them,” says the AA.
“It is still considered “cool” in many conversations when a person mentions how they effortlessly managed to drive home after one too many at the bar; how they managed to sweet-talk themselves out of jail by greasing a few palms; how they skipped a red traffic light and lived to tell the tale – the list goes on. Our country’s enforcement leaves much to be desired, and it’s becoming apparent that it will take more than speed cameras and random road blocks to curb reckless on-the-road behaviour.”
The AA urges all road users to be cognisant of the rules of the road and be polite to fellow road users. The AA says, “Being reckless endangers not only you but the lives of innocent road users".
Law enforcers need to be better trained, better equipped and compensated in order to avoid the growing corruption and bribery as well as the poor enforcement when it comes to apprehending offenders. “Shock tactics are not going to work on a public that lives with the daily reality of violent crimes – what we need is for Government to put in the same efforts and energy that went into recent smoking legislation into the transport and road fraternities; to be relentless in enforcing rules and to introduce a national zero-tolerance attitude towards road offenders,” the AA concludes.
Automobile Association of South Africa (AA)
011 799 1126