It cannot be business as usual with 1376 road deaths over the festive season

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Media Release from Global Road Safety Partnership South Africa (GRSP ZA)

Recently released road traffic crash statistics clearly indicate that more still needs to be done in order to curb the carnage on South African roads. Admittedly, campaigns and programmes have been put in place by national and provincial governments, the business sector and NGOs, however, the figure of 1376 fatalities in December, as released by Minister Dipuo Peters on 9th January 2014, indicates that the number of road crashes is escalating. To illustrate the point:

  • December 2009: 937 fatalities.
  • December 2010: 1050 fatalities.
  • December 2011: 1232 fatalities.
  • December 2012: 1279 fatalities.
  • December 2013: 1376 fatalities.

Annually, close to 14,000 deaths are recorded each year and thousands more are injured as a result of road traffic crashes in South Africa.

However, far from losing hope, these figures should spur us all to double our efforts. The danger is that we seem to be getting inured to the carnage that is occurring on our roads and we continue to act as if everything is normal. It is not. As highlighted by Prof Sebastian van As, GRSP ZA Chairperson, “we need to highlight that sadly we (South Africa) are world champions when it comes to road deaths”.

South Africans from all spheres need to fight this scourge with all possible resources available. This is a fight that no single sector can win alone. On the issue, Patrick Muchaka (GRSP ZA Programme Manager) stated, “GRSP ZA’s principal objective is to facilitate initiatives aimed at the sustainable reduction of road crashes and fatalities, by bringing together government and governmental agencies, the private sector and civil society organizations”.

GRSP ZA would therefore like to see the strengthening of existing partnerships as well as forging of new partnerships in the fight against the trauma caused by road traffic crashes. We strongly believe that this is a model that will help us to bring a sustainable reduction in road deaths so that when the next round of statistics are released they will not make as grim reading as those released by Minister Peters at the beginning of January 2014.

Together we can save millions of lives.
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