Transport dept can help reduce road deaths

The drop in road deaths this festive season is an indication that with a little bit of determination and will on the part of all stakeholders, December fatalities can be reduced.

The drop in road deaths this festive season is an indication that with a little bit of determination and will on the part of all stakeholders, December fatalities can be reduced.

For too long the Department of Transport has acted as if it was not aware of the causes of fatalities on our roads, and resorted to study after study and investigation after investigation.

The truth is that the department knows the causes of these deaths; it just lacks the courage to deal with them. For some time now the department has acknowledged alcohol as a chief contributor to the accidents. But here's another chief contributor: greed.

It is known that most owners/drivers of public transport - minibus taxis and buses - which most poor families rely on, will travel between, for example, Joburg and Monti or Cape Town and Monti five times a week, using only two drivers. This is greed.

It is a sad story when minibus taxi drivers boast that they didn't even sleep at a destination because there was a trip available. It becomes even worse when you check the condition of these minibus taxis, especially the tyres, where wire is showing.

This is where the departments of Transport and Safety and Security come in. The Independent Democrats in Gauteng believe there should be stricter controls for trips across provinces.

Jacques Julius, ID provincial secretary, Gauteng

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