Eugene Von Brandis MPL
DA Western Cape Spokesperson Transport and Public Works
Today, 20 February 2013, the Standing Committee on Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, was briefed at the Provincial Legislature on the results, progress and initiatives of the ‘Safely Home’ campaign, by the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works. ‘Safely Home’ has led to a 28% reduction in road fatalities in just under three years.
The thorough overview included feedback on Education, Communication & Awareness Campaigns; Pedestrian Hazardous Locations; the Intelligence and Data Centre; as well as the Shadow Centres. With the third Shadow Centre opening soon, they serve as a constant warning to road users that the DA Government in the Western Cape will not tolerate drinking and driving. The possibility of having the Dr?ger breath alcohol testing re-implemented as admissible in court as early as July 2013, is another promising step in combatting the carnage on our roads.
The Average Speed Over Distance (ASOD) project has already resulted in a drastic reduction in high speeds since its launch on the R61 (Beaufort West to Aberdeen) as well as the N1 (Three Sisters/Beaufort West). The use of technology enables real time connection to various data sources such as E-NaTIS and Unicode South African Police Services circulated vehicles. This enhances the use of ASOD and related technology, as more than a mere instrument to fine speed perpetrators, to a method of practically implementing road safety and preventative measures. ASOD has also increased visible enforcement and response time to road traffic incidents whilst enhancing a closer working relationship by the various agencies involved.
As DA Spokesperson on Transport and Public Works in the Western Cape, I am pleased and excited about the ‘Safely Home’s focus to inform and educate the public with regards to road safety. The Safely Home website (http://safelyhome.westerncape.gov.za) has valuable information, road safety tips and facts for all types of road users – motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike. The website also features a reporting function where the public are encouraged to report reckless drivers, speeders, inconsiderate parkers or public transport operators behaving badly. ‘Safely Home’ is continuously working towards being more accessible and responsive to the public through social media, like Twitter (@WCGovSafelyHome).
Road Safety is the responsibility of every road user. I thank all the dedicated traffic officials, staff and role-players who are working tirelessly to ensure safety on our roads. I urge all the people in the Western Cape to obey the rules of the road and ensure not only their own safety, but the safety of others as well.