Western Cape Supports UN Decade of Action for Road Safety | Western Cape Government


Western Cape Supports UN Decade of Action for Road Safety

10 May 2011

Today marks the international launch of the United Nations' Decade of Action for Road Safety. As one of the signatories of this landmark declaration, South Africa has committed itself to reduce road deaths by 50% between 2011 and 2020.

Road fatalities are a global crisis. A study by the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) shows that one person is killed in a road crash every 30 seconds, translating into more than 3 000 road fatalities per day and almost 1.2 million fatalities per year worldwide. These are not just numbers. They are precious lives of someone's family, friend, neighbour or colleague lost prematurely due to reckless driving.

The Western Cape is not immune to this mounting global crisis. Approximately four people are killed on our roads every single day. Many, if not all of them, are killed in avoidable road crashes that would otherwise not have occurred if all road users simply took personal responsibility to make our roads safe.

In the Western Cape, the Provincial Government launched the "Safely Home" campaign in 2009 with the goal of halving road fatalities in the province by 2014. The crux of "Safely Home" is to promote personal responsibility for road safety amongst all road users and taking a zero-tolerance approach towards anyone who decides to put the lives of other road users at risk of an injury or death.

Taking personal responsibility for road safety is about doing the right thing: to save lives on the roads. It means being cautious, courteous and obeying all road traffic laws all the time. All of us have a role to play in making our roads safer either by ensuring that our own behaviour on the roads does not endanger other road users or reporting (on 021 931 1646) dangerous and reckless driving on our roads to law enforcement authorities.

Early indications show that the different aspects of "Safely Home", from the naming and shaming of convicted drunk drivers to impounding unlicensed public transport vehicles, have resulted in the reduction of roads fatalities that we are already witnessing in the province. We are, however, still losing too many lives on our roads. There is no doubt that we can save more lives if all road users can do basic things such as not speeding, not driving drunk and not using cellphones while driving. For instance, something as simple as wearing a seatbelt can be the difference between life and death in the event of a road crash.

All these simple things can make a huge difference in making our roads safer if all motorists do them every time they drive. We can save a lot of lives if all sections of society work together to promote a culture of personal responsibility for road safety. The government on its own cannot and will not win the war against road deaths. We need partnerships with local communities, business, civil society and media to win this war.

Media Enquiries: 

Solly Malatsi
Tel: 021 483 8954
Cell: 083 641 9691
E-mail: smalatsi@pgwc.gov.za