What could have been a fatal collision in the Kruger National Park highlights the scant regard many South African drivers show for the rules of the road and why our annual death rate on the road is so high.
One person was seriously injured when a vehicle was hit from behind and overturned between Skukuza and Satara on Saturday morning. Park authorities had received several complaints from other motorists about the vehicle, which allegedly caused the accident driving at “excessive speed”.
All general rules of the road apply within the Kruger Park. The speed limit is 50km/h on tar roads – which the stretch between Skukuza and Satara is – and 40km/h on gravel roads.
Perusing photographs taken at the scene, it does not need an expert to deduce that the impact was significant. This is particularly pertinent on two fronts. First, figures released by the Road Traffic Management Corporation in its annual report for the year 2014 to 2015, show that more than 4 500 people died on SA roads during the period under review.
The other is that Johannesburg has proposed dropping the urban speed limit from 60km/h to 40km/h. If the strictly regulated national park cannot enforce the limits, we must ask what chance there is in our most populous city.