cops to target crash hot spots

SKILLS PROGRAMME: Minister Sbu Ndebele. Pic. Mandla Mkhize. 25/05/2005.  © Sowetan.
SKILLS PROGRAMME: Minister Sbu Ndebele. Pic. Mandla Mkhize. 25/05/2005. © Sowetan.

TRANSPORT Minister Sbu Ndebele will unveil the new Arrive Alive campaign next week. And this year, a new strategy will focus on 12 accident hot spots in the country.

TRANSPORT Minister Sbu Ndebele will unveil the new Arrive Alive campaign next week. And this year, a new strategy will focus on 12 accident hot spots in the country.

The Arrive Alive campaign, aimed in particular at preventing road accidents over the festive season, started 10 years ago and Sowetan has learnt that the department spends R50million on it every year.

Every year more than 14000 people are killed in vehicle accidents, which costtaxpayers R58billion last year.

"R50million is going to waste every year. Road deaths are getting worse. You cannot stop accidents by putting a 30-second advert just before the news.

"Unroadworthy vehicles are a major problem in the country," a source said yesterday.

Through Operation Safer Festive Season the campaign seeks to stop and screen no less than 1million cars between December 1 and January 31 next year.

Transport spokesperson Logan Maistry said a committee consisting of the SAPS, Metro police departments, provincial traffic police and other government departments in municipalities and provinces had identified accident hotspots. These hot spots will be given priority.

"The fatal crash report was compiled after a national environmental scan. We found that 90percent of the crashes were the result of human error," Maistry said.

He said offenders would be prosecuted.

According to the Arrive Alive website, there were 9,3million registered vehicles on the country's roads last year. In 2007 there were 15612 fatalities. The number decreased to 14463 last year.

"This year our focus will be mainly on speedsters, drunk drivers and overloading, especially in taxis and buses. We say 'road safety, our concern, your responsibility'," he said.

"Road users must stop shifting the blame. Road safety is everyone's responsibility and not the government's alone."

Addressing the Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety last week, Ndebele said: "South Africa will roll out a massive skills programme to teach young people about road safety. Our youngsters should receive their learner's licence by the time they are 17 years old. When they reach 18, they must get their driver's licence.

"Our people must not get a driver's licence in a hurry just because it is a requirement of the job."

Justice Project SA spokesperson Howard Dembovsky said most vehicle accidents were caused by inconsiderate people.

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