Decade of action for Road Safety

Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 – 2020

The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 aims to save lives by halting the increasing trends in road traffic deaths and injuries world-wide. On 2 March 2010 governments around the world took the historic decision to increase action to address the road safety crisis over the next ten years. The UN General Assembly resolution proclaiming a Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 (A/64/255) was tabled by the Government of the Russian Federation and was co-sponsored by more than 90 countries. The campaign was launched in South Africa by the Minister of Transport on 11 May 2011. Through the Decade of Action, the United Nations’ Member States, with the support of the international community, commit to actions in areas such as developing and enforcing legislation on key risk factors such as:

  • limiting speed
  • reducing drunk-driving
  • increasing the use of seatbelts, child restraints and motorcycle helmets.

Efforts will also be undertaken to improve emergency trauma care, upgrade road and vehicle safety standards, promote road safety education and enhance road safety management generally. The Zenani Mandela Scholarship for Road Safety, established in memory of the granddaughter of former President Nelson Mandela who tragically lost her life at a young age in a car accident, will contribute to the Decade of Action for Road Safety and also forms part of Mandela Day. This scholarship will help young South African academics tackle this growing epidemic of death and injury on South African roads.

South Africa’s response 

South Arica devised an engaging and multi-pronged programme involving all of society which seeks to reduce road deaths. The programme includes the following:

  • Finalisation and implementation of South Africa’s National Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan for 2011-2020, in consultation with government, business and civil society. The strategy focuses on better utilisation of human and financial resources across spheres of government to address road deaths.
  • Each province, each district municipality and each local municipality must report every month on the number of road accidents occurring in their area, what the causal factors are and how these are being addressed.
  • The new National Rolling Enforcement Plan (NREP) commenced as of 1 October 2010, whereby we committed that no less than one million vehicles and drivers will be stopped and checked every month. This marked the start of a new major law enforcement drive in South Africa.
  • The national Road Traffic Act was amended. In addition to drinking and driving and reckless and/or negligent driving, as of 20 November 2010 driving over the prescribed speed by more than 30km/h within an urban area and more than 40km/h outside an urban area may result in the suspension or cancellation of your driving licence. In the case of a first offence, for a period of at least six months; a second offence, for at least five years; or a third or subsequent offence, for at least ten years.
  • Partnerships within government have been strengthened, particularly between the Departments of Transport, Health, Social Development, Education and Police. Road crashes place an unnecessary strain on hospitals and child support grants.
  • The South African Police, Division: Visible Policing has developed a 10-year Road Crime Crash Combating Strategy for the Make Roads Safe Campaign. It comprises 5 Strategic Functional Areas, namely High-visibility Patrols; Intelligent Road Policing; Improve Service Delivery: South African Police Service (SAPS) responsibilities: Attendance, Crime Scene Investigation, and Recording of Road Crime Crashes and Non-serious Crashes; Road Safety within the SAPS; and Road Safety Collaboration.
  • The objective to ensure that road safety education is included as part of the life skills curriculum at schools is being pursued. The goal is to ensure that every Grade 11 learner will have a learner’s licence and every 18-year-old a driving licence.
  • A programme is being developed to encourage youth from disadvantaged communities to obtain their driving licences, by obtaining private-sector sponsorship for the payment of their driving tuition. These youth will pay for their learners and driving licence tests, but government will assist towards obtaining sponsorship for the payment of their driving lessons.
  • A massive job creation drive was launched through the R22 billion S’hambaSonke – Moving Together roads infrastructure upgrade and maintenance programme. S’hambaSonke, targeting the secondary road network and repair of potholes, includes the beautification of our roads which see clusters of flowers and shrubs being planted along the road network.We want to ensure that the road environment contributes towards enjoyable, relaxing, calm and stress-free driving.