National Road Safety - 2016-2020
6th Draft Review 2016
Feedback on NRSS- for Department of Transport (DoT). Congratulations on this Draft. SADD humbly make the following recommendations and suggestions.(For full report go to www.sadd.org.za,,,,,)
Pillar 1. Stakeholders’ engagement. SADD suggest DoT engage with & use acknowledged & experienced NGOs who use Best Practices.
Crash statistics. Collect up to date & very detailed data & share this with the public. People are often found not guilty of traffic offences (& especially drink driving) because there is insufficient evidence & not because they are innocent. We need more highly trained & qualified crash investigators, with excellent knowledge about speeding/lighting & road condition/alcohol consumption & its effect on driving, etc. SAPS needs to do proper post-crash investigations, & Public Prosecutors & Magistrates need better training about the impact & seriousness of crashes on victims & SA society.
State & Municipality Traffic Fines should be used only for road safety initiatives, like Traffic Officers on duty 24/7, & not go into the general fiscus.
Pillar 2.Safer Roads and Mobility Hazardous locations or “Black Spots” should be marked out accurately & very clearly, with special signs. Educate the public about what “Black Spots” mean - so they can be proactive, & drive more carefully or slower here. Make all new roads standards 3 Stars at least, & fit in with the recommended standards of the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP) 3 Star Coalition http://www.fundforglobalhealth.org/join-the-3-star-coalition
Pillar 3. Safer Vehicles. Accept the same manufacturing standards for vehicles & buses as accepted internationally. Tyre tread depth needs to be brought to international standards of 1.6 mm & not 1mm as it is in SA. This needs to be vigorously enforced, & people encouraged to change their tyres long before this. Continental recommends that summer tyres are replaced at 3mm to keep the braking distances as short as possible on wet roads.
Pillar 4 .Safer road users. It should be mandatory that both drivers at all crash scenes are tested for alcohol &/or drugs.
Appoint specialized Traffic Courts so swift & appropriate sentences can be given. Random Breath Testing should be specifically legislated to empower officers to obtain breath samples even when checking for speeding, licences, road-worthiness, tyres, etc. Every Traffic Officer & SAPS should carry breathalysers in their vehicles.
Make “On-the-spot driving license suspension” mandatory for DUI, drivers who run red lights, speed excessively etc. A hearing should then take place within a week. If the license suspension was unlawful or unreasonable the presiding officer can reinstate the license. It immediately neutralises the threat to the public presented by a reckless driver. It also takes away the risk of a spot fine system being used to elicit bribes.
Drink Driving Offences. Name and Shame campaign: Restart this program & put the names & BAC of all convicted drink drivers into local papers, as well as providing education about the legal BAC, units of alcohol, alcohol elimination rates etc.
Give Jail sentences (minimum of 6 year per death-as allowed in the NRTA) with sentences to be run consecutively, for death or injuries caused by drink driving.
Enforcement of road traffic rules. Get enforcement levels up to at least 8/10 for seatbelt, speeding, helmet wearing & drink driving. Put more emphasis on seatbelt use. Enforcement & education are easy, cost effective & reduce deaths & injuries dramatically.
Alcohol ignition interlocks. Make it compulsory for these to be fitted to public transport vehicles like buses, trucks & taxis. Make it mandatory that driver with a BAC of 0.18g or more, & every repeat drink driving offender to have an Alcohol Ignition Interlock fitted to their vehicle, if they are allowed to drive. Additionally they should be monitored by NICRO & SANCA (Alcohol and Drug Centre)
More research should be given to the Diversion Programs offered by NICRO that allows drink drivers to attend NICRO courses & not get criminal records. Diversion programs should only be allowed for offender who have a BAC of 0.10g or less & are not repeat offenders. They should be registered on a Central Register, so if they re-offend in another province they are not allowed to join another Diversion Program.
Generally Diversion Programs are for “First time offenders”, but research shows that seldom are these drivers’ “first time offenders.” It is just the first time they have been caught! http://www.ourthinkingaboutdrinking.com/opinions/busting-myths-ignition-interlocks-are-effective-for-first-time-drunk-drivers/)
Distracted driving .Concentrate on “No cell phone use.” Ban both hands-held & hands-free cell phone use.
Pillar 5. Post-Crash Victims need better post-crash investigations done, so that they get the justice they deserve. Financial compensation for victims needs to be looked at, & provided. Victims need access to trauma debriefing that is paid for by the State. Injured victims need more & better rehabilitation so that they reach their full potential. Rehabilitation services need to be taken to rural areas & Hospitals. Train more Social Workers & Psychologists to give specialized post trauma post-crash counselling to victims’ & their families, & to have their services available, free of charge for victims.