Target road criminals
FAILURE to adhere to the rules of the road and to ensure that our vehicles are roadworthy has once again cost us hundreds of lives over the holiday season. Spiking at 5 percent more compared to the 2015 December holidays, there were 1 714 lives lost this festive season.
Just this past Sunday, a three-vehicle accident claimed the lives of 16 people, including six children under the age of 10.
The driver of one of the vehicles is believed to have gone over the median after losing control, then crushing into oncoming traffic – a burst tyre perhaps?
When releasing a preliminary report on road death statistics yesterday, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters listed faulty brakes among the many contributing factors to the crashes that occurred during the holiday period.
How difficult can it be to get a car checked before travelling? Is it perhaps because vehicle owners don’t value their lives?
Where do they get the courage to begin their journeys with unroadworthy vehicles knowing there’s an increased presence of traffic officers on national roads during the festive season? Do they somehow manage to negotiate their way out of having their cars impounded by paying “cooldrink” money? Perhaps it’s time the Department of Transport reviewed its programmes and came up with new measures to address the deadly curse of unroadworthy vehicles. Simply repeating the same “heightened visibility on our roads” message does not cut it.
Blame can however not be laid squarely on the department. Irresponsible motorists are largely at fault and, sadly, their actions lead to the deaths of those who do their best to obey road rules – like keeping to the speed limit and overtaking only when it’s safe to do so.
Two weeks ago, Peters said 13 000 drivers had been issued with fines, mostly for driving without seatbelts or while using their cellphones. Punishment for these offenders, along with drunk driving, ought to be tough so that people will think before getting behind the wheel.