Business Day

Law enforcemen­t key

- John Dawkins Polokwane

DEAR SIR — I read with sadness that the Easter road carnage continued unabated over this recent holiday period. This despite the multitude of road safety campaigns launched by the various bodies involved in traffic regulation in the country.

On TV, we were treated to footage of cars and buses being checked during the peak traffic flows, causing huge gridlock and no doubt making many drivers so angry that the moment they cleared the checkpoint they simply went as fast as they could.

Perhaps the most disturbing factor was that, again, there were many, many people driving drunk on our roads. Politician­s have argued that the legal limit should be reduced still further. Some have suggested that even one drink should be illegal for drivers.

Any measure that would reduce the carnage caused by drunk drivers would, of course, be welcome. But it must be remembered that it is already a crime to drive while under the influence of alcohol. And still thousands do it daily. Just as it is a crime to kill someone, but South Africans continue to kill each other with gay abandon.

Perhaps the toughest lesson SA has failed to learn is that laws do not change behaviour. Only enforcemen­t of the law will change behaviour. That is why Transport Minister Ben Martins must appoint and properly train traffic officers and concentrat­e on moving violations and not just revenue collection through speed traps.

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