Pedestrian safety education needed

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At least 34 people perished on the province’s roads during the Easter weekend, just two deaths below the 36 fatalities recorded during the same period last year.

The death toll also meant the province failed to reach its 50% target of road fatality reduction during this year.

Of the total number 34 of the recorded road fatalities, 18 of them were pedestrians, up by eight deaths from last year’s 10, when pedestrians were knocked down by vehicles at the weekend.

The transport and community safety department spokesperson, Joshua Kwapa, said many of the pedestrians were killed while crossing roads, an indication that some may not have observed safety factors before crossing.

The department said it would improve its education programmes on pedestrian safety to ensure people know how to avoid being hit by vehicles.

During the Easter road patrols and road blocks in the province, traffic officers stopped 24063 vehicles, arrested 32 drivers for drunk driving, impounded four minibus taxis and 10 buses while 38 vehicles were discontinued.

Transport and community safety MEC Nandi Ndalane said: “Drunk driving is a deliberate traffic violation which needs to be harshly dealt with.

“We need to ensure that those found guilty are successfully prosecuted and obtain the harshest permissible

punishment by the law.”

She further said even though the department did not achieve 50% reduction of fatalities as planned, the slight improvement was welcomed.

“We will build on this achievement and then moving forward we shall work harder to achieve our ultimate objective of safer roads for all.”

The department said most causes of road crashes during the Easter weekend included reckless and negligent driving, pedestrians crossing the roads, excessive speed, unsafe overtaking or animals on the roads.

Ndalane thanked motorists who displayed good behaviour.

montshom@thenewage.co.za

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