Make buckling up a must for all
BASED on the most recent statistics, 38 people will die on our roads today. Last year was particularly bad. According to statistics compiled by the Road Traffic Management Corporation, 14 071 people died on our roads in 2016. It was the highest number of fatalities since 2006.
Most of the accidents (77.5%) could be blamed on people. Vehicle factors accounted for about 6% of fatalities and environmental factors 16%. KwaZulu-Natal recorded the highest number of road deaths between January and December last year – 2 715.
This weekend more lives were lost – seven in the Western Cape, an all too familiar situation every week.
Provincial traffic officials arrested 23 motorists for driving under the influence, and breath testing was performed on 1 233 drivers. The highest breath alcohol reading was recorded in Caledon at 1.50mg/1 000ml – more than six times the legal limit of 0.24mg/1 000ml. Thirty-one speeding offences were recorded. On some weekends more than 20 people die on the Western Cape’s roads. This can never be accepted as normal.
In KwaZulu-Natal, four people died when a taxi hit the back of a truck. Twelve others were injured. On Sunday, eight people died on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, another incident which involved a truck and a bakkie.
The problem with taxis and bakkies is that the passengers are not strapped in. When these vehicles are involved in crashes, passengers are flung out, resulting in serious injuries or fatalities.
If the authorities are serious about reducing road fatalities, they should make it compulsory for passengers in taxis, buses and bakkies to buckle up.
It is a simple solution, but one that would save lives.