Paramedics who are often the first on accident scenes have raised concern about the increase in the number of pedestrians killed on South African roads. One such service provider, ER 24, notes that “728 incidents were reported this year alone, compared to 598 in the same period in 2012” says spokesperson Vanessa Jackson. Transport minister, Ben Martins, used the launch of the Easter holidays’ safety campaign in Limpopo last Sunday to appeal to “members of the public to get actively involved in road safety issues.”
The minister also said traffic officers will be in full force on most of the country’s busiest roads to police driver and vehicle safety and impound unroadworthy vehicles during the upcoming Easter holidays.
Meanwhile, Jackson says, educating pedestrians about road-safety issues is the only way to address the marked increase in pedestrian deaths. “An important point that we want to raise is that people must not take chances; rather just wait and make sure the road is totally clear before crossing. If you are walking along the road, make sure that you are a safe distance from where the tar stops and if possible, use pedestrian crossings and overhead walkways or cross at intersections where there are traffic lights,” warns Jackson. “Everybody wants to be on the road. The only way which we can do this safely is if all road users comply with the road regulations at all times” says Road Traffic Management Corporation’s (RTMC) Ashref Ishmail.
He added that: “clearly it’s something that we’d want to appeal to road users, that we begin to adopt a more responsible approach to the manner in which we use our roads.” RTMC’s records indicate that between 38 and 40 people die daily on South African roads and this figure is even worse during the holiday season.