Minister urges road users to exercise caution this festive season

Transport minister Sindisiwe Chikunga has called on road users to obey the rules of the road and for motorists to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy before embarking on a trip. She also urged motorists to avoid driving under the influence of alcohol.

Festive season road safety campaign

Chikunga said this as she led the Festive Season Road Safety Awareness Campaign on the N3 Heidelberg Weighbridge in Johannesburg. The minister said these were human factors that caused road crashes.

“Please behave on the roads. In terms of our statistics, pedestrians are the most affected by road crashes, followed by victims of hit and run incidents. Cars that are overtaking on the road and head-on collisions [are also factors],” said Chikunga.

“We urge all pedestrians to cross at places designated for crossing the road. This will not only save you but [will] also save your family from the pain they will suffer if you die due to a road accident.”

Safer road usage

The campaign is aimed at prioritising and promoting safer road usage during the high peak season on South African roads.

The objective of the campaign is not only to ensure smooth flows of traffic, but also to prevent negligent and reckless driving. Reckless driving is the major cause of road crashes, injuries and fatalities.

The campaign was launched in the last week of November. It is a collaboration between different levels of government, transport entities led by CEOs, private sector organisations, NGOs, key stakeholders and role players.

Festive season activities in South Africa are associated with year-end celebrations, economic industry slowdowns and year-end closures, increased traffic volumes and increased road crash incidents. Majority of road crash victims are usually pedestrians and passengers as a result of non-use of safety belts and jaywalking.

Law enforcement out in full force

Road Traffic Management Corporation CEO Makhosini Msibi said law enforcement officials are out in full force to ensure adherence to rules as traffic volumes begin to peak.

“We are here to deal with truck drivers because if you look at the trucking population, it is quite massive. We will engage the trucking industry on the issue of fatigue, because most of the fatal crashes are caused by fatigue.

Trucking industry big players

“This engagement will also educate us on their experiences and what they can do better. We also want to know how we can partner with them in changing the attitudes and culture of driving. We are certain that we are going to make a dent in terms of the fatal crashes,” Msibi said. –

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