Motorists urged to prioritise passenger safety this festive season

DECEMBER 7, 2015

The Portfolio Committee on Transport Chairperson, Dikeledi Magadzi, has called on motorists to prioritise passenger safety this festive.

“South Africa’s economy is oriented in such a manner that people have to travel long distances to far-flung places during the festive season in order to be with their loved ones. All we are saying is that motorists should exercise high levels of discipline and observe traffic laws as they are meant to protect everyone,” Magadzi said.

“As much as the Committee on Transport would want to wish everyone a safe festive season, there will be unfortunate incidents and fatalities. Motorists should exercise caution and be vigilant at all times when on the road,” she said.

Two major accidents had been reported in KwaZulu-Natal ahead of the official start of the festive season. Just over a 1 000 fatalities were reported last year, nationally. Magadzi said there needed to be a significant improvement on road carnage.

She said the Committee is satisfied that the country has enough programmes to significantly lower fatalities, and that the department has demonstrated a commitment to achieving this.

“High visibility of law enforcement officers and regular stoppages should ensure the country does away with this perception that deaths on the roads are an acceptable thing in December. But also messaging on Arrive Alive ought to be enhanced this time around,” she said.

She said driver behaviour should not be dependent on the visibility of officers, but should be inherent and that resting when driving long distances is not a sign of being weak. Regular rests are a necessity.