Following the alarming increase in road accident, the SA transport minister, Dipuo Peters says the SA transport department will settle for no nonsense this year, especially in dealing with offenders.
More than 1,700 people have been reported dead over the past festive season, giving a five percent increase over the previous year. That is more than 340 a week and nearly 50 lives a day.
Minister Dipuo blamed this on increasing ill road behavours by South Africans saying many of the accidents were as a result of motorists flouting the rules.
The minister, who visited Hope Restoration Ministries in Johannesburg on Sunday in a drive to get the church to help spread the word on road safety, reminded South Africans of the need to have a behavior change change especially when using the roads.
“South Africans are reckless, are taking the law into their own hands, by deliberately disobeying the law,
“If you go and drive on the road speeding that is against the law, if drive a vehicle that is not road worthy that is against the law and if you drive with a license that is not legally procured, that is against the law,” Peter said as she points out that the SA transport department is working on a no-nonsense approach for the year ahead.
“The first thing we are doing is to make sure that illegally procured licenses are actually cancelled, secondly we deal with corruption in our own system.”
“We will work with department of justice to make sure that there is convictions,” Peters added.
Meanwhile, the Road Accident Fund (RAF) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eugene Watson has called on government and SA transport department to do all it takes to reduce the overwhelming accident rate in the country.
He said the scourge of car accidents and related fatalities have reached disturbing proportions and if not curbed it will place untold strain on South Africa.
“The death of bread winners, heads of families, and economically active youth at the threshold of their lives, as well as innocent young children and toddlers, weighs heavily on our country, sets society back and harms our economy,” Watson said in a statement.
“To the millions of road users who remained alert while travelling, we thank you for heeding the RAF’s call to stay safe.”
He said that drunken driving, speeding, un-roadworthy vehicles, fatigue, over taking on barrier lines, and failure to wear visible clothing at night were some of the main causes for road deaths.