Are drivers killing machines?
Transport deputy director-general, James Mlawu put his firm beliefs bluntly as he spoke at a road safety conference in Boksburg on Tuesday (October 23). “The lack of consideration and general bad attitude of South African drivers is the main cause of death on our roads.”
According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation, road accidents cost the country R300 billion a year, with an estimated 14 000 people killed each year on the country’s roads.
“Good try sir, but we have to disagree,” was the sharp response given by Wheels 24.
The website challenged the aforementioned statistics revealing that thanks to bad reporting at hospitals and police stations, estimates are closer to 20 000 people killed each year. “Most of which are pedestrians who are, or should we say once were, in the ANC’s constituency,” it pointed out.
Mlawu stated that South Africans do not realise that driving on our roads is a privilege – a shared space where consideration for others has to be shown. The deputy director-general added that other factors, such as road conditions and roadworthiness of vehicles, were part of the government’s focus to reduce road carnage.
Wheels 24 begs to differ. “An improvement in corruption at licensing centres and among traffic cops, lack of road-safety training at schools, failure to use SABC TV as a road-safety training tool and sheer driving incompetence (not attitude) are the root of this evil. They all lie at your department’s front door, sir,” it noted.
We could not help but agree.