Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele’s plans to ask Cabinet to reduce South Africa’s national speed limit from 120km/h to 100km/h, has sparked heated debate throughout the country.
“There are increasing calls and signs that something drastic needs to be done to arrest the current situation,” Ndebele said in a statement on Tuesday. “Studies conducted in other countries such as Australia where the speed limit is 110 km/h indicate that a reduction in speed limit can save lives.”
In response, the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) has issued a statement, appealing to the minister not only to reconsider the reduction in speed limits, but to take urgent steps to improve safety on South African roads. “It does not require scientific research to see that South Africa’s appalling road safety record is directly attributable to the authorities’ ill conceived law enforcement practices”, the Guild said.
The SAGMJ also cited the lack of policing around moving violations and fundamental road rules, such as stopping at red lights and stop streets, while the authorities are seemingly pro-active when it comes to employing the latest technology to prosecute speeding offenders.
SAGMJ chairman, Danie van Jaarsveld, urges the minister to “Yellow card all breakers of all road traffic laws consistently and relentlessly, to halt the state’s dereliction of its responsibility to its citizens and to restore order on our roads. It is then, and only then, that the unabated mayhem on our roads will show signs of diminishing.”
With a lack of man power and elements of corruption within the ranks, South Africa’s traffic authorities stand to make a tremendous difference to road safety in our country just by getting the basics right. If only they’d stop passing the buck and start making heros out of their colleagues who act with the responsibility bestowed upon them.
Do you think speed kills? Do you think SA road users need more regulation? We’d like to hear your comments below.