By Patrick O’Leary, Editor of FleetWatch Magazine
Dear President Ramaphosa,
I have waited sometime after the Festive Season to write this open letter to you and there is a sound reason for me doing so. You see, everyone focuses major attention on the crashes that occur on the roads over the Festive Season. This attention is then duplicated over the Easter holiday season when once again, thousands of road users take to the roads – many of whom won’t return to their homes. They’ll be dead. The problem is that for the rest of the year, the road deaths and injuries which accrue on a daily basis hardly get a mention – unless, of course, it’s a bus load of children that crashes – and all the children get burnt to death or mutilated. Then everyone jumps up again and shouts how the road carnage must end. Once it’s off the front pages of the media, however, it’s back to normal where an average of 43 people die on our roads every day without being noticed.
Mr. President. Will you be the General to lead the fight in the war on our roads?
During the past December holiday season, the number of people who never returned to their homes totalled 1 612 nationwide. That’s 1 612 families that were left devastated. It’s difficult to picture 1 612 bodies so let’s reduce it to one – and let’s give that one body a name. I do so because the road death situation in South Africa has become a mere body count. We compare statistics – the number of bodies – from one year to the next and celebrate when the body count goes down (which it never does) and commiserate when it goes up… Read the rest of the article in our e-Magazine Vol 65.