This year Arrive Alive has launched a campaign to make people, especially pedestrians, more aware of road safety. The Niyabonwa – Visibility Campaign was launched in October.
The programme warns pedestrians that they are not allowed on freeways, and encourages them to wear light coloured clothing and reflective items. It advises pedestrians that they are also road users and should not overindulge in alcohol or drugs, as this can lead to fatal accidents. Drivers are also urged to be especially cautious in areas of high pedestrian traffic.
The department of transport statistics show that 15 of the 34 people killed on the roads each day are pedestrians. Children under 12 are especially vulnerable, as it has been proven that they are not able judge whether it is safe to cross the road or not.
A second facet of Niyabonwa is law enforcement visibility. “If you feel that a traffic officer has gone beyond the call of duty when assisting you, please let us know by calling 0861 400 800. This number can also be used to report reckless drivers who break the law and put the lives of other road-users in danger” said Wrenelle Stander, Director General in the department of transport.
The department of transport is also keeping an eye open for repeat offenders who drive under the influence of alcohol and frequently speed. They have identified several of these individuals, and intend to bring them to book, along with the Asset Forfeiture Unit, by confiscating their cars.
Last year’s ‘Lights On’ campaign will also be brought to the fore again, where drivers are requested to switch their headlights on during daylight hours. The Automobile Association estimates that this practice can reduce road deaths by 13 percent. Last year about 70 percent of drivers switched their headlights on, and Arrive Alive is encouraging motorists to do the same this year.
The Seat Belt campaign will also be in full force, with special emphasis on buckling up children, who often die in vehicle crashes as a result of not being restrained. One in 10 fatalities on the roads is a child under the age of 12, and car accidents are the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children under 14.
Operation Juggernaut will once again swing into action, targeting unroadworthy vehicles, especially public transport vehicles, in an attempt to make the roads safer.
Arrive Alive’s message is “watch your speed, do not drink and drive, buckle up and switch on your headlights at all times.”