President Ramaphosa launched October Transport Month campaign
President Cyril Ramaphosa launched October Transport Month campaign on Saturday, 5 October 2019. President Ramaphosa, together with Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and the Gauteng provincial department also unveiled the Arrive Alive programme at the N3 Highway Southbound, Heidelberg Weighbridge. The new programme will focus on improving road safety through a 365- day road safety agenda to transform road user behaviour.
President Ramaphosa said road accidents cost the economy at least R147-billion a year. “It is up to each of us not to drink and drive. Ever. There should be no need for families to plant crosses and place flowers along our sidewalks and roadsides,” said President Ramaphosa. “It pains me that our country continues to experience around 14 000 road deaths a year. Safer roads begin with providing safe and comfortable transport for workers, instead of bundling large numbers of people onto the backs of exposed vehicles, in clear disregard of the value of life or in violation of our law,” he added.
President Ramaphosa announced the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act that he signed into law earlier this year. Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said that the start date for the new Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act will soon be proclaimed but noted that it will be ‘in full effect from June next year (2020)’.
Speaking at the launch of Transport Month in Gauteng on Saturday, Mbalula said that the new system will greatly improve safety on the country’s roads and help reduce fatalities.
The new laws were signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in August, despite opposition to some of the new policies. The legislation is perhaps known for its proposed introduction of a demerit system for South African drivers and it is expected to fundamentally change driving in the country. The start date for the implementation must still be officially proclaimed by Ramaphosa in a government gazette.
Some of the biggest changes include:
Meanwhile, Minister Mbalula says public transport needs to be made safer and more efficient. “We intend to open a major social dialogue about funding our transport …but it’s not enough, we need to expand that. We need to move people from the roads to rail…must be efficient and safer.”
Our first responders are witness to the high number of road fatalities every year, counting the cost of the impact these images and memories have on the psyche. Let’s hope that there will be a marked reduction in incidents through these awareness campaigns.
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