Prayers, candles to fight road deaths
TRANSPORT Minister Dipuo Peters admitted yesterday that government road safety campaigns were ultimately ineffective.
“It is common cause that Christmas and Easter seasons have higher numbers of fatalities than most periods put together,” said Peters during a press briefing at OR Tambo International Airport yesterday, where she called for the nation to pray for safer roads.
She said prayer and “God’s hands of mercy” were necessary, because the government’s messages were reducing the number of accidents.
“We need to reach out to our huge constituencies in every community and in every church. Through churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship where the people of God gather in prayer and supplications, messages on road safety must be propagated.
“It is of great concern to us that our education and enforcement messages fall short of reaching every road user. We believe more can and needs to be done to wrestle the monstrous carnage on our roads,” Peters said.
Road accidents are one of the main causes of death in the country and it is estimated there are 40 road-related deaths a day.
“Looking at statistics from December 1 we realise that we are still seriously challenged and required to raise more voices to reach out to our South African community,” Peters told the media.
Of the 600 fatal accidents in the holiday season thus far, she said: “It is enough. We cannot continue losing lives on the roads. It is costly, it is painful and it kills the economy.” Peters lit a candle to “remember those whose lives were lost on our roads”.