Rethinking Mobility in Global Road Safety Week

15 May 2023
Mobility Department

The Western Cape Mobility Department (WCMD) commemorates the United Nations Global Road Safety Week (UNGRSW) from 15 to 21 May with a planned series of road safety activities, including road safety talks, learner transport interventions, monitoring of Participatory Education Techniques (PET) education projects, picketing with road safety messages, commuter safety education, and an electric vehicle exhibition.

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) theme for the 7th edition of the UNGRSW is Rethinking Mobility, with the focus on a shift to walking, cycling, and using public transport, and doing so safely.

“Road Safety Management will conduct three specific interventions during the Global Road Safety Week (launch) on 15 May 2023 in Langa. The programme will start with a Pedestrian Awareness and Safety Campaign at Langa Station as well as at the entrance to Langa where learners cross the busy N2 to schools in Athlone, Woodstock and Cape Town”, said Willie van der Merwe, Director: WCMD Road Safety Management.

“We cannot ignore the seriousness of pedestrians walking on the freeways endangering their lives. We aim to convey the message of road safety and to gather support and promote community participation to raise awareness about safe places to walk and cross, and to encourage visibility,”, he added.

Rethinking mobility through sustainability

The new Mobility Department, through its Provincial Sustainable Transport Programme (PSTP), highlights the importance of non-motorised transport (NMT) in the Western Cape. The WCMD partners with local municipalities to support the development of better, safer infrastructure, and recently distributed bicycles to communities in Struisbaai, Napier, Kleinbaai and Strandveld as part of the Western Cape Bicycle Tour.

The core focus of the Department’s Electric Vehicle Strategy is the development of an electric vehicle eco-system in the Western Cape.

“Government Motor Transport (GMT) is exploring the expansion of its hybrid vehicle segment as a soft transition towards battery electric vehicle (BEV) adoption, as new electric vehicles are introduced into the market with an equally important evolving BEV charging infrastructure to decarbonise GMT’s fleet towards 2030,” says Anthonie Janse van Rensburg, Director for Fleet Services at GMT.

Using rail, bus and minibus taxis safely

WCMD is working towards a more reliable and safer public transport system for commuters.

The Department’s road safety officers regularly visit train stations, and bus and minibus taxi terminals to speak to commuters and drivers about the importance of road safety when using public transport.

At a recent intergovernmental workshop with the City of Cape Town, Transport Authority for Gauteng (TAG), the Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) and the Gauteng Roads and Transport Department, the WCMD highlighted the need for the devolution of rail, and support for reforming the minibus taxi industry.

The aim of the engagement was to share information, learn from each other, and collaborate to identify solutions for the transport needs of commuters in South Africa.

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