Can Carnage on Our Roads Be Stopped?
Carnage can be defined as “the killing of a large amount people”. It is a fact that over a thousand people were killed during the festive season this year. More recently, one hundred people died on our roads this past Easter weekend, showing that the danger is not alleviating. What are the causes of this carnage? Can it be stopped? There are many factors which contribute to the large death toll on our roads. Firstly, a road traffic accident can happen when the driver’s attention is continuously distracted.
When a driver is impaired by tiredness, illness, alcohol or other drugs (both legal and illegal), the likelihood of one of these contributing to a road accident is high. An accident is likely to happen when the road conditions are not favourable. Speeds also exceed safe conditions, such as the speed for which the road was designed, and the speed of surrounding motorists can also precipitate a road accident. Drinking and driving is a big cause of death on our roads. More media advertising should be put in place to ensure people are aware of the dangers of drinking and driving.
Also, harsher penalties should be put in place for people who are found to be drunk whilst driving. Therefore, more roadblocks should be put on our roads to ensure that drivers will not drive if they have consumed too much alcohol. Taking all this into consideration, measures should be put into place to ensure the numbers of people dying on our roads significantly decreases. The traffic departments across the country have a big role to play. Heads of these departments should ensure that each traffic officer are proactive and enforce all road laws, not only speeding.
These laws include ill-discipline, disregard of signage and road markings and negligent and reckless driving. They should contribute to the safe and expeditious flow of traffic, thus ensuring fewer accidents on the road. The average South African road user is not only to blame. The whole system is to blame, poor policing and lack of confidence in policing authorities. This includes the general justice system. Many people get away with disobeying the rules of the road. They only get small fines and most offenders do not even pay it.
More hard-core, corruption free policing and law enforcement is needed. Prison time, with revocation of licences must the mandatory punishment for accidents caused by blatant lawlessness, recklessness and un-roadworthiness, especially when it causes deaths. In conclusion, I think that if no measures will be put in place to reduce the carnage on our roads, it will certainly not decrease. Prevention is better than cure, so if people are taught to drive more safely and cautiously, the death toll will decrease.