Transport Month 2012
Transport Month is observed every year in October across South Africa to highlight the important role transport plays in the economy. The theme for 2012 is: "Working together to provide a safe and reliable transport system".
The Western Cape Government has allocated R1.920 billion, the biggest slice of the Transport and Public Works (TPW) department 2012/2013 budget, to transport infrastructure. One of the department's main objectives is to preserve and maintain existing roads and improve transport systems in areas of key economic activity such as the Saldanha Industrial Development Zone.
Putting Safety First
TPW's Safely Home campaign has contributed to a 29.2% decline in the province's death toll since its inception in 2009, dropping from 1 739 in 2008 to 1 231 over the past year. Minister Robin Carlisle has pledged to target road safety issues to reduce the number of people killed on the roads by 50% by 2014.
The Safely Home campaign has been firm in implementing laws that prevent and penalise reckless behaviour in Western Cape roads including:
- Impounding cellphones from drivers caught using them while driving.
- Conducting vehicle inspections through roadblocks.
- Implementing the Average Speed over Distance (ASOD) cameras that calculate the average speed of a vehicle from the time it passes the first camera until it passes the second camera.
- Conducting fatigue management roadblocks targeted at long-distance public transport.
Regulating Road Safety
The Western Cape Road Traffic Bill and its regulations are being drafted and finalised through citizen participation. The regulations being considered include speed reduction and child restraints regulations that would ban shared seating in vehicles.
Partnerships for Success
Rail is arguably the most utilised transportation service for most Western Cape citizens. At peak periods, thousands of commuters take trains to and from work. It is essential that trains remain safe and reliable. The City of Cape Town, in collaboration with the national rail network company Metrorail, have undertaken to improve safety and reliability in train in the province by introducing:
- Operations to remove graffiti from Metrorail and surrounding infrastructure.
- Improved safety and security and access control to Metrorail stations.
- An integrated public transport ticketing system.
- Integrated timetabling and joint, coordinated communication.
- Management of informal settlement encroachment on rail reserves.
- Extending the existing CCTV network, and integrating its monitoring with City's Transport Management Control Centre.
Metrorail's plans to address safety issues include:
- To protect signal points by better protecting them against vandalism.
- An accelerated train window replacement programme.
- The rolling stock refurbishment programme.
- To implement a platform marshals project and a closed door programme to improve commuter safety.
- To ensure a greater focus on customer service - including new staff uniforms with name tags.
For commuter convenience, Metrorail has introduced a digital service that can be accessed via cellphone. The Go Metro mobile service provides easy-to-use train schedules, a trip planner and fare calculator and can be accessed on www.gometro.co.za.