In short, issues high on the agenda for motorists in 2011 will be around infrastructure development and the repercussions thereof, possible legislation changes and notable milestones on the agenda for our roads culminating in the importance of changing attitudes on South African roads. Fuel prices may also continue to rise with an issue bubbling under the surface concerning the oil pipeline.
The Automobile Association’s (AA) 2011 forecast sees many of the same issues rolling over from last year including continued road works which will mean disrupted traffic continues in many areas but with an end in sight which will undeniably bear the fruits of all the labour we have seen. Also on the agenda we should see continued controversy around the tolling system in Gauteng, and further headway will be made with the Gautrain and in areas of public transport.
Legislation wise, the AA continues in its quest to make daytime running lights compulsory. Also on the agenda is the debate started by the department of social welfare and department of health to ban alcohol advertising and reduce the legal driving limit to zero which the AA would be in full support of. The AA also plans to take a more serious look into glaring gaps in legislation around child seatbelts and safety. The environmental tax and effectiveness thereof will also be on the lips of motorists as the plans unfold to roll carbon tax out to all vehicles, not only new ones.
Notably, 2011 is the year in which the United Nations launches the much anticipated Decade of Action for Road Safety. The initiative, supported wholeheartedly by our Minister and the Department of Transport, aims to stabilise and reduce global road deaths by 2020 and will hopefully give us a benchmark on which to build safer roads in South Africa. It is the year that we begin our path as South Africans to support and enable each other to overcome our road safety problems.
“If we could find a way to significantly alter and infiltrate motorists’ attitudes on our roads and coerce them into better behaviour, half the battle is won,” says the AA. “We look forward to some exciting endeavours supported by government in the hopes of achieving exactly this in 2011,” the AA concludes.
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