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Reducing the Accident Rate

http://www.arrivealive.co.za/news.aspx?s=1&i=22624&page=Statement-by-Transport-Minister-Dipuo-Peters-on-the-occasion-to-release-the-preliminary-festive-season-report-for-December-2015-and-January-2016

Take note of the figure for speed 15.2 %. It is low in percentage as we said, yet it is all they do.

The black driver issue is not new to me. It is the same for Namibia. I am looking and working on the Namibia issue along these lines for some time now and is trying to study it there. My thinking and experience in Namibia is :

I think the black driver issue has to do with the Previous disadvantage story. Black drivers in general were not exposed to the background and standards of a society growing up with higher level of driver skills and responsibility linked to accountability. Nor the level of technology in cars, standard of living and so on and, so on.

The explosion that took place in the growth of black people in general and on all fronts since independence in both SA and Namibia has had an impact on reaction and outlook towards life and behaviour on certain people . Can one call it the “Free for all sort of attitude” ?The number and increase in driver numbers and  car owners figures are also self explanatory. I am not advocating this statement applies to all. How to establish this in a percentage? I don’t know.   

It is followed by poor enforcement ,accountability and follow through from the justice system. I regret making this statement .But sure as hell it needs to be looked at The word working at “grass root level” linked factual evidence with accident analysis, I am ready to be challenged on this point. I admit study needs to be done to get to the bottom of it and understand the depth of the issue at hand.

In Namibia and most accidents are caused moving violations .A total disregard for adhering road rules. Hence ,attitude. Then, as a secondary impact to the initial moving violation the accident  degree of severity is aggravated to a higher level due to speed. Speed is not always  the cause initially.

Looking at the stats in Namibia, we question the quality and accuracy recording the cause accident  stats. The police level of training and knowledge in this regard is not  what it should be. I am not sure how accurate the data recording is in SA . The ones I have been exposed to here was not good.

This behaviour I am talking about also trickled through and exist in other areas of society also. The stats  are  there for all to know and see. The road usage is just another extension arm of that behaviour,  it is worse than the criminal elements of those stats on record!!!

I am not surprised at that figure for black drivers. The worst is, as is the case in Namibia all in society  in general are following taking the attitude if the  “taxi style driving” can get away with it! so will I. In the absence of enforcement people do get away with it.

This behaviour evil has  spread to more than what we think, Hence, we are where we are. I made a statement in Namibia. We also need psychiatrists and psychologist on the team to resolve the problem.

Attitude is the number one killer on our roads !!! It comes in a number of different formats with drivers on the road. Each  group with their own set of regard and disregard to other road users, the law and accountability.

The trick will be to identify the various groups and handle and educate them accordingly in order to get all on the same page subject to the same rules , the same enforcement and justice system. No matter who you are.

A speed camera and road block cannot address attitude. That is the real problem we need to address. It is absurd to have lost so many lives on our roads in what 20 days only.

I think the minister is now getting on the correct path or track. I also admire her opening statement. Nobody before her got near the issue at hand. Traffic and departments with the framework or structure within cannot solve the problem alone. They could not over the years do so. The minister must surround herself with a team of experts in conjunction with traffic and establish an action plan dictating to the role-players what the demand is and secondly, lay down the  a time frame of implementation once set . She will have to get the justice minister involved also.