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Safety awareness campaign to reduce loss of life

Praying for safer festive season roads

National prayer day for road safety at Klipvalley Road in Soweto.
National prayer day for road safety at Klipvalley Road in Soweto.

With the festive season fast approaching, stakeholders used yesterday’s national prayer day for road safety to call for adherence to road rules to minimise deaths.

Officials from the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD), Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) and interfaith leaders led prayers across the country.

In Gauteng, the prayer, which was also to remember victims of road crashes, was held at Klipvalley Road, better known as “Killer Road”, in Orlando, Soweto, just behind Orlando Stadium. The road is among the accident hotspots of SA.

At least 14,000 people die on SA roads every year. This means 38 people die in crashes every day.

RTIA interfaith administrator Lefa Molise said they had begun educating road users about safety as the festive period approached.

“We are interested in educating our communities. That’s why we have started now. We are continuing to empower our people with education that when you are on the roads we must be able to share the road and change the behaviour in terms of destructive driving. We are calling on our people to be very careful.”

Molise said more lives are lost on the roads during the festive season, and this year they wanted to see that change.

“ We want to count less and lesser numbers of people [who die on the roads] as possible,” he said. 

Molise said RTIA’s sister agencies like the Road Traffic Management Corporation would help them identify accident hotspots throughout the country so that they could take their road safety education there.

Other events were held in the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla said they wanted to reduce road fatalities over the festive season.

“As we are heading into the festive season we find that there is a lot of carnage on the roads, so we want to stop that because it is a real concern. We don’t want to keep losing our brothers, mothers, sisters and fathers due to accidents that can be avoided. We are here on the roads and we will continue enforcing [the law],” Fihla said.

“Our officers are constantly on the road. What we are going to do is have more operational plans because in the city of Joburg, when it comes to festive season operations, it is not only done through the JMPD but all the departments within public safety.”

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