Everyone has the right to use the road – but stick to the rules!
Vishal Premlall, National Director of the Tyres Equipment Parts Association (TEPA)

With Easter a little over a month away, road safety has again come into sharp focus. Recent statistics released by the RTMC (Road Traffic Management Corporation) paint a grim picture.

Released at the end of May last year, the RTMC’s State of Road Safety in South Africa (January 2022 to December 2022) notes that 12 436 people died on our roads that year. Forty three percent (5 347) of these were pedestrians.  Of this report, the AA (Automobile Association) comments that South Africa is in serious need of proper traffic law enforcement intervention.

TEPA (Tyre, Equipment, Parts Association) vice chairperson Les Richardson concurs with the AA, noting that road users need to be more tolerant of each other.

In addition to trucks and vehicles, there is also an increase in delivery motorbikes on our roads as a result of the increase in online shopping options and these drivers need to be accommodated too.  

Richardson says although there are still many more car accidents than motorbike accidents, this is simply because there are more cars than bikes on the road.

“This is changing though, mainly driven by motorists grappling with the increasing running costs of a motor vehicle and motorbike delivery services continuing to expand.

“The basic science of vehicle safety suggests that two wheels are more limiting in braking friction and directional stability than four. At TEPA we have noted, however, motorcyclists are far more concerned about fitting quality tyres and brake components to their bikes than most motorists do to their cars.”

With regard to the upcoming Easter break (29 March to 1 April), Richardson says there will undoubtedly be increased traffic law intervention over this period.

“The ‘Arrive Alive’ and other initiatives do provide travellers some comfort and peace of mind. The presence of increased law enforcement sits well when you undertake a road trip during a peak holiday period.

“Sadly, driver behaviour will not miraculously change over a three-week period when for the rest of the year drivers are allowed to drive as they wish without any consequences.

“I believe we all have a role to play – whether you are a transport driver, truck driver, motorist, motorcyclist or trolley pusher. Everyone needs to be more tolerant of each other on the road and respect the fact that we are all entitled to use the roads – in accordance with the rules of the road.

“The primary frustration for South Africans is the impunity at which so many road users break the law. Things like speeding, drunk driving and texting while driving is commonplace because there is simply not enough law enforcement to police it properly.”

Richardson concludes that we should never adopt a ‘herd’ mentality – oh well, he’s getting away with it so I’m also going to drive in the yellow lane.

“Keep yourself and your family safe on the road by being patient and more tolerant. Most importantly, ensure your mode of transport is well maintained and serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

“A safe vehicle equals a safe journey.”

Report bad driving

National Traffic Call Centre (NTCC): 0861 400 800

You will need to provide as much of the following information as possible when reporting reckless driving:

  • The province in which the offence occurred as well as the name of the city or town.
  • The name of the street and/or junction where the offence took place.
  • If you’re on a highway, you should provide the number of the road (N1, N3, R54, etc.) as well as the nearest town or suburb.
  • The direction in which the driver was going.
  • The day, date and time of the offence.
  • As much detail concerning the vehicle involved as possible – model, make, colour, registration number and any other stand-out features of the car.
  • Detail of the incident. For example: the driver was driving at excessive speeds in a 60km/h zone, the driver overtook on a solid line, the driver ignored a red traffic light, etc.

Arrive Alive: www.arrivealive.mobi

You can also report any irresponsible or dangerous driving to Arrive Alive via their online submission form. Dangerous road conditions can also be reported here.