The IFP calls for greater road safety awareness after 15 people were killed when a train and a taxi collided near Ballito on the KZN north coast.
"Road crashes kill on the same scale as malaria or tuberculosis if not more, yet our community has not woken up to this horrific waste of life. Road deaths are an ongoing tragedy that must be addressed. We must take strong action to deal with the growing epidemic of road deaths countrywide. I think that people need to sit back and really think about how many people are dying on the roads and what we can do about it," said IFP Leader in the KZN Legislature, Mr Blessed Gwala, MPL.
"The burden of road traffic deaths demands a more appropriate legal and societal response. But if we are to achieve our objectives to save millions of lives in our country, we can, and must do much more. Safe mobility should be something we should all expect, irrespective of whether we are rich or poor. Just as our constitution protects us from social, political and economic injustices, we should also be protected from reckless and negligent road users. This should be true for all, especially so for our children," continuing Mr Gwala.
"Punishing perpetrators is the only thing that will bring a major reduction in road deaths. At the moment, killers on our roads get off scot-free, or with laughable fines. As long as people can get away with killing innocent people on our roads, the killing will continue. There is a desperate need for more co-operation from the Justice Department in dealing with motorists who disregarded the rules of the road. South Africans need to change their attitude on the roads. Reckless driving continues to be a growing concern daily to all those who occupy the roads. Too often, we learn about unfortunate victims in vehicular accidents that could have been avoided. Many offenders are punished for traffic violations but are allowed to continue driving. Reckless drivers who cause serious road accidents should be punished severely before re-entering the roads or face jail time," concluded Mr Gwala.
The IFP calls for the reinforcement of road safety lessons in basic schools’ curriculum to equip children with knowledge of road safety at a tender age. In addition, it further calls for an urgent summit with the taxi industry to evaluate the competency of drivers. Taxi owners must be held accountable for the kind of people they employ to transport passengers.
Issued by: IFP Leader in the KZN Legislature, Mr Blessed Gwala, 078 290 5842
Mr Phendulani Biyase, IFP Media Officer, 073 024 5675