Safety first and last

It's a message that has been repeated so many times with the hope that sense will prevail ultimately - that is, a call to motorists to be more vigilant and observe traffic laws throughout their journeys this festive season.

It's a message that has been repeated so many times with the hope that sense will prevail ultimately - that is, a call to motorists to be more vigilant and observe traffic laws throughout their journeys this festive season.

The relevance and timing of the call is made all the more poignant by the tragic loss felt by families of the more than 500 people who have so far died in road accidents during this festive season.

The continuing bloodbath on our national roads sadly undermines the noble intentions of the national road-safety campaign, which has so far achieved limited success. But this must not weaken the resolve of traffic authorities to reverse the trend and to enforce traffic laws more stringently.

There is still a lot to be done by way of inculcating road safety culture.

As many motorists head off to far-flung holiday destinations, it is important that they follow safe driving tips before embarking on long-haul trips. They must be reminded that speed, reckless driving, unroadworthy vehicles and driver fatigue remain the biggest factors in the country's high road death toll.

It is important that they heed this advice if they are to arrive at their destinations alive. Road death news is depressing and detracts from the festive merrymaking that we all look forward to throughout the year.

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