The consistent efforts of the Department of Transport, as well as stakeholders such as Bakwena N1N4 Toll Concessionaire to educate motorists on optimal road safety measures, seem to have had some impact on driver behaviour over the festive season.
Bakwena Commercial Manager, Liam Clarke, acknowledged that, while the number of accidents on the platinum route had risen slightly over the festive period, the accident rate during 2015 as a whole decreased by10%from2014. HenotesthatthisislargelyasaresultofthemorethanR8millioninvestmenttoimprove road conditions along the route and Bakwena’s initiatives implemented to educate local communities and motorists on road safety measures.
“It is important to take all variables into account when analysing road accident data, such as the increase in the number of vehicles on the road,” commented Clark. “Every year we see an increase in car registrations, and the significant drop in the value of the rand has curtailed foreign travel. Both these factors have increased the number of cars on our roads this festive season over previous years. In this context the statistics can be seen in a more favourable light.”
Traffic law enforcement was highly visible throughout the festive period on all routes. With the Department of Transport’s crackdown on motorists through its implementation of the 24/7 law enforcement strategy, 1.7 million cars were checked, 6000 drunk drivers were arrested, 808 speedsters were locked up and 5710 nonroadworthy vehicles were taken off the roads.
Revealing the preliminary festive season report for December 2015 and January 2016, Department of Transport Minister Dipuo Peters commended the majority of motorists, saying, “An analysis of traffic volumes indicates that many motorists planned to undertake their trips during daylight hours. Unlike in previous years, traffic volumes leaving Gauteng this year peaked in the mornings and decreased significantly in the afternoons. The same pattern was observed when motorists returned from their holidays.” A clear indication that road safety programmes are reaching intended audiences.
Another observation made by Minister Peters was that the statistics provided by his department were exact, which is not the case in many countries. Such attention to detail assists the relevant bodies in understanding where the country stands with regards to its goals of achieving the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety targets.
“It is our firm belief that, by continuing our efforts to keep the roads safe and our communities informed, we are helping to keep more passengers, pedestrians and motorists safe every day,” concludes Clark.