Accident stats: We must take responsibiity for our own failings

Rafeek Shah, MPL

Democratic Alliance KZN Transport Spokesperson

Ethekwini accident statistics, released recently by the local Transport Authority, are a sombre reminder of the many careless factors that contribute to the unacceptably high accident rate on our roads.

It does not take a rocket scientist to realise that there is a culture of blatant non-compliance with Road Traffic Regulations and the Road Transport Quality System.  This includes speeding, a lack of vehicle maintenance, reckless driving under the influence, overloading, false licences for both drivers and vehicles, insecure loads, bribery and corruption and last but not least driver fatigue.

Yet the carnage on KZN roads continues unabated.

Last years’ horror Fields Hill accident is still fresh in the minds of many.  Then there is the recent incident in which two trucks collided on the N3 near the Mariannhill Toll Plaza resulting in loss of life and property.

Every accident also places a huge burden on our social and emergency services while impacting negatively on the province’s economy.

And while we demand better road infrastructure and more effective law enforcement – and rightfully so – we also need to ask ourselves the following.  Am I a responsible car owner? Or – am I a responsible transport operator? And – am I a responsible road user?

The solution in stemming the tide of road carnage lies in answering these questions openly and honestly and taking responsibility for our own failings.