Cape Town: Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has called on motorists and pedestrians to be more vigilant and change their behaviour on the country’s roads as the festive season approaches.
Speaking to Khayelitsha residents at a community event to commemorate World Remembrance Day, the Minister said the majority of all incidents on the roads were due to human negligence as a result of traffic violations.
South Africa joined the world in marking Remembrance Day on Sunday. The day is held to honour the memory of all the people who have lost their lives on the world’s roads over the past few years.
“An accident happens when no one is at fault. From statistics, we have deducted that 95% of crashes occur due to recklessness and someone violating traffic laws.
“The people who die on our roads are people we know … people die in busses, others in the trains, other people die walking on the roads. These people are family members. We talk about providers. We talk about leaders of churches. We talk about brothers, sisters, friends, colleagues and people who matter in everybody’s lives,” she said.
Speaking at the 2nd Annual Road Safety Summit on Friday, the Minister expressed her concern at the fact that 14 000 people lose their lives in South Africa due to road carnage. Out of these, 80% were young people aged between 19 and 34 years.
Addressing Khayelitsha residents, the Minister said for the situation to improve, motorists need to change their driving behaviour.
“I would like to ask that we change our behaviour and attitudes for the better when we use the roads, especially as we approach the festive season.”
She said the number of accidents increase over the festive season and at the long Easter weekend.
Minister Peters appealed to the various church leaders to not only pray for motorists to be safe on the roads, but to also preach safety on the roads in their places of worship.
“Let us tell the people that if we don’t speed, if we don’t drive recklessly and disobey the rules of the road, if we don’t speak on cell phone[s] while we drive, [we can reduce carnage on our roads].”
She further requested that they encourage people to drive roadworthy vehicles.
Accompanied by Deputy Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga, MECs and CEOs of transport entities as well as other transport stakeholders, the Minister laid wreaths to remember those who perished on the roads.
She mentioned a number of well-known South Africans who have recently died on the country’s roads, including former Ajax Cape Town defender Cecil Sonwabile Lolo, who died during a car crash on October 25 on Spine Road in Khayelitsha and musician Lebo Mathosa, who died in 2006 in a car crash near Germiston, east of Johannesburg.
South Africa was also robbed of former Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane, who died along with his two protectors when his vehicle collided with a truck outside Polokwane in March this year.
The Minister said ironically, Minister Chabane was, at the time of his death, acting as a Transport Minister and had just spoken about road safety at a funeral that he attended.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS