Let’s save lives on the roads over Easter
Atotal of 156 people died on the country’s roads over the Easter weekend last year. In 2015, 287 people died, so last year’s figure represents a 46% reduction in mortality.
The reduction was attributed to a higher rate of visibility of traffic authorities on major highways across the country.
Fast-forward to the Christmas holiday season – statistics rose again. Last December, 1 714 deaths were recorded, up from 1 629 in 2015. Alcohol and reckless driving were mostly blamed for the 4% increase in the death rate.
Driver fatigue, drunk and reckless driving, and pedestrians being hit by cars were the major causes of the deaths.
What we failed to look at was what caused the increase in December after a decrease the preceding Easter. Did we build on what led to the decrease in Easter by deploying more traffic officers on the roads during the December holidays?
The Easter weekend is a time when South Africans and those from neighbouring countries traditionally take long trips home to see their loved ones. Most would have last been home in December, and they’ll want to see their families again.
As the weekend approaches, road users are encouraged to take extra care during their journeys to ensure that they arrive at their destinations and then return home safely.
The message cannot be emphasised enough. Do not drink and drive – if you do, you are putting your life and the lives of others at risk. Make sure you stop regularly during the trip so that you can stretch your legs and avoid fatigue setting in. Drivers who are tired should not be allowed to continue on their journeys. Also ensure that your vehicles are roadworthy.
On top of all this, we need the traffic authorities to be visible. In fact, they should man their posts even when we’re not celebrating a holiday.