Pedestrian injury, at 44%, is the leading cause of traffic related deaths in South Africa. According to research conducted by UNISA, 18 000 people are killed annually on our roads and a further 150 000 severely injured, many of whom are pedestrians! Alarmingly, our death rate is twice the world average. It is evident that if concrete action is not taken, these figures are predicted to increase by 65% between 2013 and 2020.
An international study concluded that human error was the sole cause of 57% of all accidents and was a contributing factor in over 90% of the cases. In contrast, only 2.4% were solely due to mechanical fault and 7.6% were caused by other factors such as environmental elements.
Government has recognised the carnage on the roads as an ongoing problem, and, as outlined by the Minister of Transport in 2013, the department’s intentions are to halve the number of people killed on South African roads by 2014. The government, however, does not have the resources and capacity to reach these targets on its own, which is why it is imperative for corporate South Africa to work in conjunction with the government to reach and maintain its goal by becoming more involved in advocating for road safety initiatives.
This is why Bakwena, as part of its commitment to maintaining safe roads, has implemented numerous initiatives within the schools and communities along the roads it operates. Bakwena has spent a substantial amount in community training programmes aimed at increasing awareness and visibility of pedestrians and non-motorised transport. By educating pedestrians and motorists alike, healthy behaviours will turn into positive habits.
CEO of Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire, Graeme Blewitt, emphasises the need for road safety measures to curb pedestrian accidents.