Business pledges support for road safety
11 Oct 2011
Road Safety in South Africa has received a major boost with the corporate sector pledging its support for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. The Decade of Action brings together government, communities, the media, private sector, taxi organisations and the religious community in a partnership committed to ending road carnage.
At a business breakfast to mark the establishment of “Friends of the Decade of Action,” hosted by Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele in Gauteng yesterday (10 October), more than a hundred CEOs of various businesses pledged their full support to ensure that their employees obey road rules.
Speaking at the breakfast, Minister Ndebele said: "Vehicles have become the deadliest weapons of mass destruction in recent history! We must act and we must act now! In South Africa, road crashes kill 40 people a day, 1 000 people every month and about 14 000 a year, leaving scores injured and disabled. Globally, road crashes account for 1.3 million deaths. The carnage is estimated to cost more than R60 billion to our domestic economy. Clearly this is a cost we cannot afford.”
“With the launch of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, road safety has moved from being a national and continental issue to being a global challenge. Therefore, companies must encourage everyone in the workplace to take an active role and interest in road safety,” the Minister noted.
Challenging all South African companies to establish shop floor-based measures to reduce road carnage, the Minister cited examples of Lafarge and Imperial: “Lafarge ensure that every road crash, no matter how minor, involving their vehicles is fully investigated by the company, while Imperial Holdings, who employ more than 30 000 people and drive at least 500 million kilometres every year, are implementing international driver training programmes. We would like to acknowledge the commitment of other such companies as well as fleet operating firms who are natural partners in this campaign as they spend millions of hours on the roads.”
The purpose of the Friends of the Decade is to promote and plan the Decade of Action implementation plans. It will also advise on steps towards finalising the global Plan for the Decade and give guidance on communication for the Decade.
Minister Ndebele said the time had come for such a group in South Africa that will prioritise road safety.
"The Department of Transport wants to form solid partnerships with organised labour, business, the religious community, civil society as well as other formations to end the carnage on our roads. One such partner is the taxi industry. We are making major strides together with the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) to ensure safer roads. In South Africa, we take the approach that only through partnerships will we be able to address even the most intractable problems. Working together, we can fight and defeat this epidemic,” he said.
The Department also commended SA Breweries for the establishment of Alcohol Evidence Centres across the country.
“Community-driven road safety, through Community Road Safety Councils, must become the primary driving force of the Decade of Action in South Africa. It is our deep belief that road safety is not what you do to a community; road safety is what you do with a community. Every road safety issue in a community must be the business of the Road Safety Council. This Decade is about Community Road Safety Councils; join one and become part of the solution," the Minister said.
Report traffic offences to: 0861 400 800.
Issued by: Department of Transport
11 Oct 2011
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