The announcement by the Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters that the Easter road fatalities this year has declined by 46% as compared to the same period last year must be viewed as a positive sign.
“The decline in the number of fatalities over the Easter period from 287 in 2015 to 156 this year is a clear indication that visibility of law enforcement officers on our country’s roads is a deterrent to negligent and reckless driving. It also shows that our road users are becoming more responsible and law-abiding. This is a positive sign and it is important that law enforcement exercises in the form of roadblocks to check for unroadworthy vehicles, drunk driving and unlicensed drivers are ongoing throughout the year especially in view of the high number of drunk drivers that were arrested. Very soon the July vacation will be upon us and then the year-end holidays which will again see a rush of holidaymakers on our roads. Therefore, responsible driving and road usage must become a way of life and not something that receives the attention of law enforcement personnel only during the festive periods”, said IFP National Chairman, Mr Blessed Gwala MPL.
“Although we applaud the decline in the fatality rate this year, we must do everything possible to reduce this number even further as one death is one too many. We need to continue to strive towards a zero figure when it comes to deaths on our roads. Responsible road usage must be taught at schools so that children will be more alert when using public roads. There is still much that needs to be done with regards to the transportation of school children on the back of bakkies. The Departments of Transport and Education need to ensure that safe and reliable transport is provided for our children. It is also important that the owners of livestock ensure that their animals do not stray onto public roads especially at night. All citizens have a responsibility to ensure that we reduce the number of fatalities on our country’s roads. We commend all law enforcement and emergency response personnel who were on duty over the Easter weekend and thank them for their services”, concluded Mr Gwala.