IFP: No time for blame game
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) national spokesperson for Transport, Petros Sithole, said apportioning blame would not solve South Africa's road safety problems, adding that it would be more prudent for all the relevant stakeholders to make meaningful contributions.
The IFP said that while it was deeply concerned by the road death statistics released earlier this week, the best thing his party, and others like it, could do was help find solutions to the problem.
"This recent spate of road accidents is very worrisome and requires concerted efforts from all quarters. One should ask who is to blame. Is it the police? Is the government responsible? What role do transport operators contribute to the carnage? What about drivers, their passengers and pedestrians? Questions are even raised on the ever increasing number of spot fines, but are they deterrent enough? Clearly, there is need for drastic measures to stem the tide of road accidents and make South African roads safer," added Sithole.
"We believe that a change of attitude resulting in more caring, responsible behaviour and increased tolerance is a better cure for unending accidents and bloodshed on our roads. Road user attitude is most important in addressing and promoting road safety.
"The onus to improve this scenario lies equally on citizens as well as government. In order to realise the dream of safety on our roads both sides have to play their part and initiatives only from one side will not yield positive results. Also both sides have to ensure that their efforts should complement and not contradict each other,” added Sithole.
While Sithole advocated for a more solution driven approach, he did acknowledge that there needed to be a level of accountability, adding that the onus was also on authorities to take ownership of the problems faced.
That in itself is a solution.
"We have a transport ministry and road traffic management department that has no meaningful concept of accountability and ownership of the problem. What we urgently need is strong leadership with a proactive approach to address these problems.
"To address these problems requires well-trained, incorruptible and professional policing and resources. Not more police, but more effective policing with strong leadership to drive a hard work attitude and the courage to tackle the problems head on."
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