Almost 80 percent of motorists believe removing unroadworthy vehicles from South African roads will make roads safer. And, 58% of respondents of the ‘Safer Roads in SA’ survey, say harsher punishments for all road offenders will also reduce fatality statistics.
There are too many unsafe cars on our roads, and these lead to many crashes, some of them fatal.
As motorists we need to ensure our vehicles are safe, not only for our use, but for other motorists as well. If we want to improve our road crash statistics, keeping our cars roadworthy is an important step in that direction.
Apart from removing unroadworthy vehicles from the roads, respondents to the survey indicated a need for stricter policing, and a need for increased road safety education at school level.
Road safety education in schools, in our view, is critical to ensuring road safety in the future. Children need to be taught the rules of the road, how to be safer pedestrians and, ultimately, there needs to be a progression in this education to where the child is of driving age. Other factors motorists highlighted which would make a difference in improving road safety is more rigorous training for learner drivers (38%), increased public education via road safety campaigns (38%), and safer cars from manufacturers (13%).
At this time of year, when traffic on major routes across the country is expected to increase significantly, we want to urge all drivers to obey the rules of the road, and to drive safely to and from their holiday destinations.
The Association offers these tips to motorists who will be travelling during the festive season:
- Keep vehicles in good working condition
- Check the tyres (including the spare) and replace them if needed
- Obey the rules of the road at all times, and set an example for young children or inexperienced drivers
- Buckle up everyone in the vehicle. Remember, children under three are required by law to be in proper child restraint seats
- Stop every two hours or every 200 kilometres for fresh air
- Be courteous and considerate of other drivers
- Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication
- Obey the speed limit, and drive according to the conditions of the road you are on
- Don’t overtake on blind rises or over solid white linesPay attention to the road. Keep your cellphone handy for emergencies, but don’t use it while driving
A number of provinces are already reporting fatal crashes. It is estimated that road fatalities in South Africa cost our economy almost R143 billion in 2016. But the real cost of fatal crashes cannot be measured in monetary terms alone; the real cost is the destruction to families caused by the loss of a loved one. We urge all motorists to play their role this festive season in ensuring everyone has a safe journey. Should this not happen our annual fatality statistics will either stay relatively similar or, worse, increase on last year’s shocking statistics.