Easter road death toll: the path to real change

South Africa ended the year on a high with a 10% drop in road fatality rates over the festive season. Unfortunately, however, this achievement was not shared over the Easter period which saw a 14% increase with 510 deaths between 29 March and 9 April 2018.


According to the Transport Minister, Blade Nzimande, there were a number of arrests over the same period which suggests that South African drivers are still indulging in dangerous driving behaviours. More than 6 000 drivers were caught speeding, 3 208 were driving unlicensed vehicles, 2 344 were not wearing seatbelts and more than 1 600 were driving vehicles with worn tyres. Nzimande notes that these behaviours are a cause for concern.


The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says that if we are to achieve another 10% reduction in fatality rates, attitudes need to change. “Unfortunately, South African drivers tend to attribute the blame to ‘other drivers’ without assessing their own driving behaviours. Few drivers believe that their own behaviours like speeding or disobeying other road rules is the problem.


“The question is how can we now change these beliefs and consequently dangerous driving behaviours? This is where corporates have the potential to bring about the greatest difference. Through awareness, training and safety initiatives, they have the opportunity to show their employees, and other members of communities, the first-hand consequences of dangerous driving behaviour,” says Herbert.


MasterDrive is involved in a number of safety initiatives with various corporates in order to bring this awareness to employees. Many companies host wellness days and events to help employees lead healthy lifestyles. An essential part of a healthy life is having the knowledge and skills to be a competent and aware driver on South African roads. This knowledge not only affects that person but all the members of their family as well.


Herbert urges corporates to play their role. “While significant change depends on citizens and law-enforcers, corporates have a role to play as well. These organisations have considerable access to drivers and the power to encourage a change in mindset. Use this power to play your role in bringing about genuine change.”


If you would like to find out how your organisation can play a role, contact MasterDrive at www.masterdrive.co.za to get involved in one of their many safety initiatives.

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