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Almost half the number of people killed in Western Cape road accidents last year were pedestrians, transport MEC Robin Carlisle said today.
“A huge aspect of the problem is that pedestrians who are killed on the road are from poorer communities, where education levels are lower, and where access to transport is limited.”
He was speaking at the launch of the latest Crash Witness videos. The videos are taken from closed circuit television camera footage of fatal road accidents to show the effects of dangerous behaviour on the roads.
Carlisle said there had been an overall decrease in the number of road deaths in the province, with 1567 people killed in 2009, 1476 in 2010 and 1321 last year.
However, the proportion of pedestrians killed had increased from 41 percent in 2009 to 49 percent last year.
“What this means is that we are reaching drivers and their passengers, and seeing a change in behaviour, but we are not reaching pedestrians,” Carlisle said.
To reverse the trend, pedestrians needed to know that it was extremely dangerous and illegal to walk on or cross highways. Walking on roads while intoxicated could also have deadly results.
Where there were no pedestrian bridges over highways and major roads, people should contact their local councillor or the ministry of roads and transport.
“Parents need to ensure their children are not using major roads on foot unsupervised. You will see the horrific results today,” Carlisle said.
The Crash Witness videos are available on www.safelyhome.westerncape.gov.za. The videos are not suitable for sensitive viewers or those under the age of 18.