Road safety – Arrive Alive

Together We Can Save Millions of Lives

The Easter and Festive Season (December/January) period in South Africa are often the leading critical periods for road traffic management authorities.

Road traffic fatalities are among the main causes of death in South Africa. This results in serious social and economic costs for the country. These consequences include the loss of family members, bread winners and leave behind traumatised families. Currently South Africa’s road fatalities remain unacceptably high at 40 road related deaths a day.

Road fatalities cost the country more than R3 billion each year, diverting scarce resources from other social and economic needs of the country.

South Africa is a signatory to the United Nations (UN) Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. As such, the country has committed itself at an international level to reducing fatalities by 50% by the year 2020. This means that all the critical components that make up the “Safe Systems” approach under the 5 Pillars of the Road Safety Global Pillar must work in tandem to ensure that the greatest impact is made to offence rates and road traffic crash casualties.
Cause of accidents

The analysis of fatal crashes for the festive seasons of 2010 to 2012 and the crash trends of the recent few months have demonstrated that road crashes are caused by the following factors:

  •  excessive speeding
  •  drinking and driving
  •  drinking and walking / pedestrian safety
  •  driver fitness / fatigue
  •  moving violations.                   

Analysis of the contributory factors reveal that human factor is highest followed by vehicle and road factors.

The Accident Report of 2010/11 contains the following breakdown of the contributory factors:

Human factor

  • Speed too high for circumstances (40.4%)
  • Pedestrian jay walking (32.5%)
  • Overtook when unlawful or unsafe to do so (10.6%)
  • Fatigue (3.3%)
  • Hit and run (7.0%)
  • Close following distance (5.3%)

Vehicle factor

  • Tyre burst prior to crash (63.2%)
  • Faulty brakes (21.0%)
  • Faulty steering (15.8%)

Road factor

  • Sharp bend (50.0%)
  • Poor visibility (12.5%)
  • Poor condition of road surface (18.8%)
  • Road surface slippery or wet (12.5%)

Government plans

Government steps up operations through visible and proactive traffic enforcement on all key routes during the Easter and Festive Season periods. Our law enforcement agencies examine driver and vehicle safety, impounding un-roadworthy vehicles.

Public awareness and education are at the heart of the road safety strategy, while we continue to reinforce our law enforcement capabilities throughout the year.

We also have the International Road Assessment Programme which assesses road safety solutions that relate to road infrastructure. Under the programme, we are targeting 4 000 kilometres of road in the 2013/14 financial year.

The Road Traffic Infringement Agency, the Road Accident Fund and the Cross Border Road Transport Agency implement road safety programmes as set out in their respective Annual Performance Plans.

The Department of Transport is working with all stakeholders to revise the current road safety strategy taking into account our international commitments in terms of the UN Decade of Action 2011-2020 and the National Development Plan.

Government on road safety

Speeches and statements

Statements on road safety

Speeches on road safety

Opinion pieces

  • Put the brakes on dangerous driving, 3 Dec
  • Billions lost due to road fatalities, 16 October 2013
  • Putting brakes to the road carnage, 26 Mar 2013

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