The carnage on South Africa’s roads during the festive season and during the rest of the year can’t simply be blamed on hooligan drivers.
Although the driving witnessed on South African roads clearly points to motorists’ total disregard for the law and a seemingly complete lack of respect for the lives of fellow road users, the state of our road network and traffic signs alongside and on the surface of roads also plays a role in these preventable deaths. The fact that there are almost no pedestrian bridges to cross highways results in people trying to cross these busy roads on foot – the alternative often being an expensive and time consuming detour by taxi or on foot . About 40% of deaths on South African roads are a result of these illegal road crossings.
UASA urges government to act now and take decisive action to considerably lower the high death toll on our roads.
The quality of law enforcement, the diligence of law enforcement officers and the general lack of focus leave much to be desired, with the result that many drivers simply aim at not being caught instead of obeying traffic rules. They know that an effort to bribe a traffic enforcement officer is likely to succeed and will get them out of the situation.
Visible policing and renewed efforts to apply the law consistently seem to be the only solution.