EC addresses pedestrian road fatalities

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

East London - An initiative to curb pedestrian fatalities in the Eastern Cape will see a number of workshops being held throughout the province's district municipalities.

Transport Department spokesperson Ncedo Kumbaca said the workshops are being introduced as a result of the high number of pedestrian-related road accidents that occur in the province.

"Pedestrians are legitimate road users who are the most vulnerable on our roads. They constitute 40 percent of total road accidents, especially in countries such as South Africa," said Kumbaca.

He added that most of the accidents were as a result of unacceptable road user behaviour and attitudes, coupled with high levels of ignorance.

"Another reason for this initiative is that our country is a highly motorized society. Infrastructure has been developed around motorists' needs, creating better roads and resulting in high speeds, with very little focus on the pedestrian," said Kumbaca.

He added that the situation is worsened by inadequate pedestrian facilities closer to the residential areas, busy main roads and the establishment of informal settlements.

Road Accident Fund (RAF) communications officer, Shereen de Bruyn, said they would also be involved in the workshops to educate especially rural people about the fund.

"We will inform people about procedures they should follow when claiming for damages from the RAF should they be involved in a road accident," said De Bruyn.

Kumbaca said the workshops would cover various issues, including safety and security, substance and alcohol abuse, traffic laws, pedestrian safety, accidents and injuries.

Other organisations that will participate in the workshops include South African Breweries (SAB), Safety Engineering, Sanlam Sky and the provincial Departments of Social Development, Health, and Local Government and Traditional Affairs.