Editorials 24.1.2018 07:32 am

We’re still far from safe on our roads



It’s that time of year again – when the authorities pat themselves on the back for improving road safety.

Never mind that South Africa’s drivers are some of the worst on the planet and only banana republics have a higher death to vehicles or death to population ratio than us; our politicians and civil servants want to tell us we’re safe on our highways and byways.

So, we saw Transport Minister Joe Masangwanyi praising everyone concerned this week because road fatalities over the festive period declined by 11% compared to the same time in 2016-2017.

That beat the targeted reduction of 10 % … so presumably somebody will be paid a bonus.

What was glossed over was the fact that 1 527 people still lost their lives in less than two months and, more importantly, fewer people travelled over the holiday season because they couldn’t afford to.

The minister went on about speeding and drunken driving, which are, admittedly, critical offences.

However, equally important should be the road worthiness of vehicles, the competence of drivers as well as corruption among law enforcement personnel.

Unless those issues are tackled, the annual death toll will be a meaningless charade and our roads will remain killing fields.

Transport dept to announce festive season road death toll

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