Proper road safety law enforcement cannot be a quarterly ritual

Democratic Alliance media statement by Rafeek Shah, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Transport

 

Proper road safety law enforcement cannot be a quarterly ritual

 

The Democratic Alliance in the KwaZulu-Natal has today called for a Western Cape pilot project aimed at detecting and determining blood/alcohol levels in cases of drunk driving to be introduced without delay in a bid to curb the province’s massive holiday road death toll.

The call was made in the KZN Legislature earlier today in response to an executive statement by Transport MEC, Mxolisi Kaunda regarding road safety measures during the forthcoming festive season.

While the DA welcomes and supports the Law Enforcement plans announced today, proper road safety law enforcement cannot be a quarterly ritual, to be rolled out during holiday periods only.

These measures need to be in place all year round which means that the RTI must build capacity.

This includes addressing the systemic challenges such as labour related disputes, filling of critical posts both at high and mid- level, fraud and corruption and non-implementation of standing orders along with the ailing infrastructure at certain RTI stations which has led to a very low staff morale.

Furthermore, recent accident data trends based on the RTMC national analysis, indicate that a whopping 73.6% of contributing factors for vehicle crashes can be attributed to human factors, particularly drunk driving, speeding and negligent and reckless driving. Yet the RTI in KZN is still experiencing challenges in the processing of blood samples from drunken drivers.

It is clear that any meaningful reduction in the level of carnage on our roads will require far greater investment in building the overall capacity of the RTI.

Some may argue that KZN cannot financially afford to fix the problems. The question is – can we afford not to? The socio-economic repercussions associated with injuries and fatalities caused by road crashes are incalculable.

KZN’s Transport Department needs to get tough with drunk drivers and speedsters who play with innocent lives and who have total disregard for the rules of the road. They must face the full might of the law.

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