Female law-enforcers ready to address lawlessness on main routes
Female law-enforcement officers will be conducting extensive operations throughout the country in celebration of Women’s Month with the objective of reducing road fatalities over the approaching long weekend.
Integrated roadblocks, involving officers from various law agencies, are being planned on routes notorious for fatal crashes. Statistics show that deaths on South African roads increase substantially over long weekends, with more people dying on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The abuse of alcohol has been identified as the leading factor contributing to crashes and will therefore be the primary focus of law-enforcement efforts over the long weekend. Accidents exert a heavy burden on the economy, society and families, as they usually involve economically active members of society, many of whom are breadwinners and heads of households.
A study conducted by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and the Centre of Scientific and Industrial Research, has determined that the cost of crashes to the South Africa economy last year amounted to R166,2 billion. It is estimated that one death on the road equates to an average loss of R4,6 million to the economy in terms of lost productivity, pain and suffering and medical costs, as well as legal and funeral expenses.
An analysis of these statistics has identified the leading 10 roads and areas with the highest number of road fatalities nationally. They are: R71 Mankweng in Limpopo; R573 Umhlanga in Mpumalanga; N4 Nelspruit in Mpumalanga; N2 Libode in Eastern Cape; N1 Naboomspruit in Limpopo; N2 Umkhomazi in KwaZulu-Natal; N2 Pongola in KwaZulu-Natal; N2 Idutywa in Eastern Cape, R37 Mecklenburg and N3 Harrismith in the Free State. A total of 254 people died on these roads last year, and human error accounted for nine out of every 10 fatal crashes that had occurred on these roads.
These routes have therefore been prioritised for intensified law enforcement and female-led operations to be conducted throughout the month in an effort to decrease fatalities. Massive road-safety education and awareness campaigns, targeting pedestrians and passengers, will also be undertaken in support of women in law enforcement.
Editor: Anchen Coetzee
Subeditor: Lynette Brink
Submitted by: Simon Zwane / RTMC