Transport industry lauded for road safety

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pretoria - Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has commended the road transport industry for their efforts in implementing the Road Transport Management System (RTMS) to reduce road deaths.

The RTMS is an industry-led voluntary, self-regulation scheme that encourages consignees, consignors and road transporters to implement a management system that preserves road infrastructure, improves road safety and increases productivity.

The system's key components are load optimisation, driver wellness, vehicle maintenance and productivity. It is designed to show transport companies how to take more corporate responsibility for road safety.

"Despite concerted and ongoing law enforcement operations, the sharp increase in heavy vehicle traffic and the effects of overloading continue to be a major challenge on South African roads.

"Let us strengthen this global movement that is demanding real action against road deaths. But, we must act now," said Ndebele.

He further said overloaded heavy motor vehicles are daily involved in numerous road crashes and impact negatively on the road condition.

According to Ndebele, poorly maintained trucks, badly secured loads and inadequately trained or exhausted drivers pose road safety dangers that can be avoided.

"South Africa can no longer afford the accelerated damage of its road network, the high human and financial cost of road crashes as well as the inconvenience and time lost due to road closures as a result of accidents.

"It is essential that we all contribute to solving this challenge and to this end, the RTMS is most welcome," he said.

The minister reiterated South Africa's support for the Make Roads Safe campaign and the Decade of Action for Road Safety, aimed at reducing the appalling increase in road deaths.