Number of road-related deaths in KZN over Easter are cause for concern

By: Rafeek Shah, MPL DA KZN Spokesperson on Transport REPORTS that KZN experienced the highest number of road fatalities over Easter – while the country saw an overall increase in the number of road-related deaths during the same period – are cause for serious concern. KZN experienced 55 deaths, followed by Limpopo with 44 and Gauteng with 38. The Western Cape experienced the lowest number of deaths at 26. Certainly, these figures should be giving KZN Transport MEC, Willies Mchunu, sleepless nights. One death on our roads is one too many. These are not just statistics – they are fathers, mothers, children and other extended family members who are now gone for good. Apart from this human factor, accidents are also a huge drain on the fiscus with emergency services, health infrastructure, social support services and the road accident fund having to bear the subsequent costs. In yet another knee-jerk response to the problem, Transport Minister, Dipuo Peters recently announced that consideration will be given to mandate Traffic Law Enforcement Officers to randomly stop motorists and subject them to a retest of their driving competency. In terms of the existing sections 3 (1) and 3 (f) of the National Road Traffic Act, traffic officers may, amongst others, check for speeding, inspect drivers licenses and vehicle roadworthiness. There is no provision whatsoever for the retesting of driving skills. If the Minister is serious about reducing the daily carnage on our roads she must deal with the problem at the source – corruption at Licensing Departments where people receive their drivers’ licenses in the first instance. Furthermore, zero tolerance towards offenders, which includes increased visibility and efficiency of Traffic Law Enforcement Officers, must be adopted. Current enforcement appears to be regarded as a generator of revenue rather than a mechanism to ensure road safety. This attitude must change. Anything short of this will not solve the problem. [end] ##################################################################################### Scanned by MailMarshal – M86 Security’s comprehensive email content security solution. Download a free evaluation of MailMarshal at www.m86security.com #####################################################################################