Make road safety a priority

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has called on road users, especially public transport operators, to make road safety a priority.

The Minister’s comments follows a fatal bus accident along the N1 Touwsriver in the Western Cape in the early hours of Sunday.

A bus operated by DMJ Transport was involved in an accident that resulted in 13 fatalities, while 43 other people were injured. The injured were taken to hospital while an investigation into the cause of the accident is underway.

I urge the management of DMJ Bus Services to co-operate with the investigations to ensure a speedy conclusion of the preliminary report of the incident, said Minister Peters on Monday.

Minister Peters recently called on bus operators to ensure that their buses are roadworthy and that bus drivers take body rests.

The accident comes as the department and its state owned companies marks Transport Month, when the department and its entities showcase progress in the modernisation of public transport infrastructure, in rail, road, aviation as well as maritime transportation and progress in the implementation of the 365 Road Safety Strategy.

Road safety must always be at the top of our priorities. Drivers should always consider the threats and possible worst case scenarios � and plan to avoid as many of these as possible, said Minister Peters.

Road safety requires commitment and dedication from everyone, said the Minister, to ensure that these unnecessary deaths on the roads are drastically reduced.

Our road safety analysis brings to the fore a very painful reality of the role played by un-roadworthy vehicles. Key to the vehicle factors that contributed to the crashes are tyre bursts, faulty brakes and smooth tyres.

As South Africa, in line with the United Nations Decade of Action for road safety, we owe it to our country and the continent to achieve the Decade of Action’s goal of reducing road fatalities by half by year 2020.

The Minister said the department is in the final stages of completing the National Road Safety Strategy, which clearly articulates the road safety plan.

She said as a department they have engaged in this struggle together with many stakeholders including faith based organisations, road freight associations, the taxi industry, bus operators, artists and others to inculcate a culture of road safety awareness.

Minister Peters also passed her condolences to the families and friends of the deceased and wished those in hospital a speedy recovery.

Source: South African Government News Agency