The AA will lobby the government for more stringent restrictions with our driving laws after grim mortality figures for the previous calendar year were made public last week. They propose a nine-point solution, which suggests a radical shake-up to the way SA's roads are policed – with certain speed limits also under fire.
How many people died from car crashes in 2019?
The annual road fatalities for 2019 show that 12 503 people died in traffic accidents over the 12 month period. Pedestrians made up the highest number of this shock total, with over 5 000 deaths. More passengers than drivers were killed in accidents last year, as 125 cyclists also lost their lives:
|3 401||3 876||5 064||125||37||12 503|
Road traffic costs add up
It's estimated that the total cost of these fatal accidents tops the R150 billion mark. The AA, outraged by the figures, say that South Africa is in the midst of a "national tragedy".
"This is a national tragedy, a catastrophe of untold magnitude. Importantly, though, one must not only look at these numbers for the full story. They do not tell you of the countless families which have been destroyed and the financial devastation these deaths have caused."
"The RTMC puts the cost of crashes at around R165 billion annually; we would venture that this figure is way higher. Not enough is being done to provide adequate resources to those walking on roads, and that not enough is being done in terms of road safety education of both drivers and pedestrians."AA statement
Speed limits under review?
The AA also published a nine-point plan for fixing the high fatality rate on our roads. Their blueprint asks for a complete crackdown on drink-drivers and even suggests that speed limits around school areas should be reviewed.
It's proposed that all roads within the vicinity of an educational institution should have a flat 30km/h speed limit in place. The automobile service giants have asked Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula to make major interventions:
Obtain International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) star ratings of all roads in South Africa.
- Institute mandatory safety ratings on all new vehicle sales in the country.[*]Urgently review and revise safety regulations for new vehicles in South Africa.[*]Introduce regulations that require ABS, ESC and two airbags as minimum safety standards on new vehicles.[*]Institute festive season policing all year long.[*]Introduce drunk-driving "weekend blitzes".[*]Better policing of child restraint usage, illegal device usage while driving, and speeding.[*]Re-introduce road safety education and driver training in schools.[*]Introduce a 30 km/h speed limit in areas near schools.
Annual road fatalities in South Africa are marginally down in 2019 from 2018 but they are still too high. We believe this is a national crisis which requires urgent intervention. @LaytonBeard @Philip_Purnell @TrafficRTMC @MbalulaFikile 👇👇https://t.co/3ByIzqQjJT pic.twitter.com/149fxtrYTu— AA South Africa (@AASouthAfrica) June 10, 2020