The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and the Department of Transport have launched a new multimedia campaign to educate the public about the importance of obeying road rules in an attempt to improve compliance and reduce crashes in the country.
This as road carnage continues unabated in the country. This weekend Gauteng alone recorded province 11 fatal accidents with at least 13 people being killed.
In January, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said from December 1 to January 11, there were 1253 crashes, up by 11% since the previous period.
The latest campaign, Don’t Ignore the Signs, features Peters in a television commercial making a plea to road users to stop disregarding the rules of the road.
Prominent actors such as Nambitha Mpumlwana, Gabriel Temudzani and soccer players such Mandla Masango are involved.
Advertising and marketing commentator Brendan Seery said of the advert: “This spot on behalf of the ministry and the Road Traffic Management Corporation, is bang-on with its plea to motorists.
“Those signs are, of course, the warning ones – stop signs being the favourite ones we don’t see – that alert us to danger ahead or from our lawless or reckless behaviour.”
Seery’s observation is “the ad works because it shows a minister getting involved in the work of her portfolio in something more than a ‘get my picture in the paper’ advert type of way”.
It is informed by an understanding that almost every road crash is preceded by a violation of road signs and regulations, he said.
An analysis of road crashes show that intentional misbehaviour such as ignoring speed limits, drunk driving, dangerous overtaking and disregarding traffic signs is a major contributor to fatal crashes on the road. Human factors account for 74% of road fatalities in South Africa.
Less intentional forms of human error, such as fatigue, poor judgment especially on sharp bends and wet surfaces also play a critical role in accidents while failure to wear safety belts is one of the most common causes of death in road accidents.
RTMC CEO advocate Makhosini Msibi said: “Road Safety is everyone’s responsibility and every South African has a role to play in keeping the roads safe.
“Let us all be responsible in the way we conduct ourselves on and off the road. Do the right thing. Don’t ignore the signs.”