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Sunday, 29 November 2015 15:23

Festive season safety campaign focuses on youth

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Pretoria – The festive season road safety campaign will focus on curbing fatalities among youth who live in urban areas, as this group is the most affected by road deaths.

Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) CEO Advocate Makhosini Msibi said this year’s festive season road safety campaign has been informed by statistics and will respond to the challenges that the agency picked up in the past year.

“… The greatest number of our fatalities comprises youth between the ages of 24 and 39,” Msibi said.

Road accidents involving youth are often caused by speed, reckless and negligent driving as well as driving under the influence of liquor.

Msibi said they are going to deploy law enforcement officials in urban areas.

RTMC will also deploy law enforcement officers from 6pm until 6am because trends indicate that this is the time when most of the road crashes happen.

Law enforcements officers will also be deployed on the main routes, which include the N1, N3 and N14.

“This year we are also going to have a mobile weigh-bridge testing station where will test the cars and disqualify them if they are not roadworthy,” Msibi said.

He encouraged parents who have children under the age of five to use a car seat.

“… When you are travelling with children, you need to have a car seat for the child… that will prevent the children being flung out of the vehicle when involved in an accident.

“We are also encouraging motorists and passengers to wear their seatbelts because the statistics have shown us that most people who succumb in the event of accidents are those who are not wearing safety belts,” he said.

RTMC will also embark on a campaign to give away children’s car seats to motorists throughout the country.

South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) President Phillip Taaibosch said his organisation will work with government to reduce the number of road crashes.

Santaco will be launching Operation Hlokomela (which means “take care”) in December.

The campaign, which is done in partnership with the Road Accident Fund, will ensure that taxis are roadworthy and drivers have all the necessary documents required for the job.

“It is not government’s responsibility only to ensure that there is safety on the road,” Taaibosch said.