Mark Jones
Road Test Editor
1 minute read
20 Aug 2014
12:00 pm

Fines don’t stop road bloodbath

Mark Jones

Have you noticed how quiet the media is on the monthly road death toll?

Nothing gets written, nothing is said on radio or TV. Why?

Because it is not holiday season yet. Only then is a big fuss made about the ridiculously high number of people killed, when, in fact, just as many people die every day on our roads.

Do you believe death toll numbers are coming down? There is a debate that they are hugely underinflated and calculated inaccurately to start with. But what is being done to curb this deadly national phenomenon?

About 40% of all road deaths are pedestrians – and, other than telling motorists to look out for them, nothing much is done by government in terms of real pedestrian education.

To see this in action, take a trip to the coast and you will see our government’s finest speed trapping on straight pieces of national highway with pedestrians walking in and around them.

The department of transport should show us a map detailing where they have located speed traps and where there have been fatal accidents. Those maps are unlikely to correspond.

Are we trapping in high-volume easy-target areas that earn traffic departments vast sums of money, or are we trying to save lives by saying speed kills and working areas where people are getting killed?

Compare the type of car caught speeding, versus the cars citizens are being killed in.

The speed trap money is very likely coming from the higher-end vehicles, while the majority of people are probably being killed in older, less roadworthy cars that are not targeted because they are not speeding and are therefore not presenting easy money.

It is all about the money people, and until the day that changes, South Africa will remain a very dangerous place to drive