And the deaths just keep on coming…

Ok, seriously. This just needs to stop now. According to the national transport department, 27 people have died on the country’s roads in the past 24 hours. That’s more than one person and hour. It’s an outrage. Come on.

We really need to be doing something about this. Whether it be more cops (police presence has been shown to reduce incidents of crime) patrolling the roads, more road blocks, changes of attitudes from drivers, cracking down on public transport vehicles, dealing with drunken driving… In fact, why aren’t we dealing with all of these?

We are not doing enough. Not even close to enough. And it pisses me off.

Here’s the full statement:

More than 27 people have been killed in road crashes over the past 24 hours.

Nine-teen people, including a two-year-old boy, were reported killed and others seriously injured in a road crash, involving a bus outside Fouriesburg earlier today (Saturday, 15 January 2011). According to Free State police, the driver of the bus had been travelling from Bloemfontein towards Bethlehem when the accident occurred.

Yesterday (Friday, 14 January 2011), eight people were reported killed as well as other injuries in a head-on collision between a minibus taxi and a truck outside Villiers, Free State police reported.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has conveyed condolences to the families of those killed. “We want to convey our condolences to the families and relatives of those killed in these road crashes, and we wish those injured a speedy recovery. The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has dispatched accident investigation and reconstruction specialists to assist in the investigation of these crashes. Officials from the Road Accident Fund (RAF) will also provide assistance to the affected families.

“Since October 2010, as part of South Africa’s ‘Make Roads Safe’ campaign and new National Rolling Enforcement Plan (NREP), government is going all out to ensure safer roads in South Africa – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We call upon South Africans to play a more active role in road safety in 2011 as part of the United Nations Decade of Action against Road Deaths from 2011 to 2020.

“From 1 October 2010 to 10 January 2011, more than 4,5 million (4,679,095) vehicles and drivers have been checked and more than 2 million fines issued for various traffic offences. More than 7 000 drivers were arrested for offences including drinking and driving, reckless and negligent driving and speeding. More than 26 000 vehicles, including thousands of buses and midi/mini-buses, were discontinued from use. This week (from 12 January 2011), traffic authorities stepped up enforcement on school routes around the country. On Thursday (13 January 2011) on the R55 in Laudium in Tshwane, 28 vehicles, including bakkies, mini-buses and buses, ferrying school children were impounded by Gauteng Traffic Police.

“Due to rainy weather and poor visibility in parts of the country, we also urge motorists to exercise extreme caution on the roads. Drivers must adjust to the prevailing road conditions, reduce speed and increase their following distance, especially during inclement weather and at hazardous locations,” said Minister Ndebele.


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