Arrive Alive campaign to ensure safer holidays

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pretoria - Government has renewed its mission to curb the escalating rate of accidents throughout the country these coming holidays, with the launch of the Arrive Alive Festive Season Campaign in the Free State, on Sunday.

The Free State Province, which is the most central province, experiences high traffic volume, due to the fact that all roads leading to the travellers’ destinations pass across this province.

The campaign was launched by Deputy Minister of Transport, Sindisiwe Chikunga, under the theme ‘Together We Can Save Millions of Lives”.

The launch coincided with the World Remembrance Day for road traffic victims observed internationally on the third Sunday of November every year.

It also coincided with the mass funeral for the victims of an accident that claimed 30 lives in Mpumalanga last week.

The campaign calls on the reduction in road deaths as urgent and non-negotiable.

“To drivers, cyclist, motor bikers, pedestrians, passengers we are saying let us work together to make sure we have safer roads for all who use them. Let us obey the rules of the road,” said Chikunga.

The campaign will see government stepping up law enforcement operations focusing on responsible driving while arresting drunk, reckless and speeding drivers.

“Our law enforcement officers will be in full force. We need to lessen and reduce deaths as compared to the last festive season of 2012,” she said, adding that the activities of the enforcement fraternity to ensure visibility can lead to quick, short term gains.

According to Transport Department statistics, about 40 people are killed on South African roads every day, costing the economy R306 billion annually.

The Road Accident Fund pays out R15 billion to victims of road accidents every year.

Chikunga says the accidents not only rob the families but robs the country of economical active citizens.

“The number of road traffic accidents on our roads, be it 1 or 14 000 is unacceptable and must be stopped through a concerted effort not only by government but also civil society. A road traffic related death can never be acceptable under any circumstances.”

The Deputy Minister called for a progressive and sustainable partnership within the road safety space to help reduce road carnage.

As the ministry, she said, they were looking into creative ICT Solutions to explore the possibility of having a vehicle built in camera with a similar function to a black box in an airplane.

This, Chikunga said, will among other things provide data on driver behaviour and vehicle condition. Government is also looking into capacitating the incident management system.

Chikunga used the launch to report that government’s strides in response to the call by the UN Decade of Action to reduce and stabilise road carnage were on track.

To date, she said, government was finalising the reviewing progress made thus far in the implementation of the 2006 National Road Safety Strategy in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

Chief among this assessment is to improve on road safety programmes and further incorporate the approved United Nations Global Road Safety framework.  

South Africa is a signatory to the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 which committed itself at an international level of reducing fatalities by 50 percent by the year 2020. –