325 pedestrian lives lost could have been saved by declaring Gauteng Traffic Police an essential service
7 September 2021
653 innocent lives have been lost as a result of fatal road traffic crashes in Gauteng of which 325 are pedestrians, during the first quarter of the 2021/22 financial year, a clear indication that pedestrians’ lives are in danger and raises great concern about their safety while walking along the roads.
The high number of pedestrians dying as a result of road fatalities are worrying and indicates that the current road safety strategy is ineffective.
This information was revealed by the Gauteng Department of Community Safety to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s Community Safety Portfolio as responses emanating from the department’s first quarter report for the 2021/22 financial year.
The Committee asked questions about road crashes and fatality rates in the quarter under review.
In response to the questions, the department stated that 602 fatal crashes were reported, which resulted in 653 fatalities.
Of these fatalities reported, 325 are pedestrians, 152 are drivers, 106 are passengers, 22 are motorcyclists and 35 road user’s status are still under investigation as most are deaths away from the scene, reported after the crash.
This high number of road accidents and fatalities is a clear indication that road safety campaigns are ineffective and do not yield the desired results. Education and road safety awareness campaigns need to start at the primary school level to be effective in the long term. Ensuring that learners are educated about the rules of the road from a young age will help promote a culture of road safety awareness.
For far too long, the DA has been demanding that the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko, must declare Gauteng Traffic Police an essential service to ensure 24-hour monitoring of Gauteng roads, and ensure safer travelling of motorists.
The safety of road users, especially pedestrians is critical and we will not rest until there is a 24-hour road monitoring of Gauteng roads.
Issued by Michael Shackleton, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Community Safety, 7 September 2021