World Day of Remembrance for 1.4 Million People Killed On Roads In 2014
Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
Today (16 November 2014) marks the annual World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. By the time we celebrate New Year’s Eve, nearly 1.4 million people will have been killed on the world’s roads in 2014. Road deaths have already eclipsed malaria as a global killer and it won’t be too long before they surpass TB and AIDS. It is no surprise that the World Health Organisation refers to a “Global Traffic Injury Pandemic”.
Sadly Africa is contributing far more than its fair share to these numbers, and South Africa has one of the poorer road safety records in the world, with more than 17 000 people killed per annum. The human tragedy is staggering - the economic cost is crippling. Adrian Gore, CEO of Discovery, recently estimated that a 30% reduction in fatalities would lead to a 1.5% increase in GDP, which could lift millions of South Africans out of poverty.
Addressing the issue is a moral and economic imperative, and I should like to call on all sectors of society to join the struggle for safer roads. Please see Safely Home’s website for more information and find out how every one of us can make a difference. Follow us on Twitter @WCGovSafelyHome, and on #WalkSmart and #SafeRoadsForAll.
This year, the global theme is “Speed Kills – Design out Speed”, a message we have been pushing through the “Speed Kills – Get the Facts” campaign Safely Home ran in August this year.
As we remember the very many that have lost their lives on our roads, let us recommit ourselves to being safe and responsible road users who are mindful of the serious consequences that reckless and irresponsible road use has on our roads.
Messages from some of our partners on this occasion include:
South Africans against Drunk Driving (NGO):
“South Africans Against Drunk Driving - SADD, who are part of the “Global Alliance of NGO’s advocating for Road Safety and Road Crash Victims," joins 120 other international road safety organisations on World Day of Remembrance of Road Traffic Victims to send our thoughts to the families whose loved ones began their day like any other, never to return home. We wish them strength and courage as they struggle to come to terms with their loss. They are now all victims of road crashes, and their lives are shattered forever. SADD would like to thank the doctors, paramedics, nurses, ambulance teams, firemen, SAPS, traffic officers and others who assist to look after those injured or killed in these very preventable crashes. SADD continues its plea for legislators bring down the speed limit to 30km outside schools, and enforce this, and also appeals to all drivers to reduce speeds in wet weather conditions,” said Ms Caro Smit.
SANRAL Western Cape Region (Government Agency):
“On this World Day of Remembrance, let us remember all of those that have paid the ultimate price on our roads.
We as a humanity must come to the realisation that the loss of life through traffic crashes is preventable. It is a scientific fact that even small reductions in vehicular speeds, can save many lives. If we all simply reduce our speeds, even just a little bit, then together we can make a huge difference and save thousands of lives,” said Mr Randall Cable.
“No more shall pedestrians and children die on our roads. It is our responsibility to put a “STOP” to road fatalities. Let us respect all road users, be it drivers, pedestrians, passengers, cyclists and motor-cyclists. Improve road infrastructure, adhere to road signs, reduce speed and save lives,” said Ms Zola Thompson.
“Our prayers and thoughts to those who have lost loved ones due to a road traffic crash. If we as road users can just change our attitudes we can make a 100% difference in our road fatalities. Road safety starts with you – BE RESPONSIBLE,” said Ms Alida Jones.
Spokesperson for Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
Tel: 021 483 8954
Cell: 084 233 3811