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Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle is to release the latest round of videos from the Crash Witness CCTV Campaign today after the December campaign went viral, with nearly 400 000 views online.
In one new video, five children cross a busy intersection. The first crosses the road unharmed, but the second child is struck. The remaining three dart back to safety.
In another video, on a busy highway at night, a vendor with a trolley circles the multilane highway a few times, with several cars missing him. The vendor and his trolley are eventually hit by a car.
Carlisle said his department would increase the focus on pedestrians through the Safely Home campaign.
“With these videos, we are trying to show people that these accidents are the most appallingly violent actions that one can see.
“We have concentrated on various parts of the road using the public, but we have clearly not concentrated sufficiently on pedestrians,” Carlisle said.
Since the start of the Safely Home Campaign in 2009, the death toll on the province’s roads has decreased by 29 percent, but Carlisle said while in 2009 pedestrian deaths accounted for 40 percent of road fatalities, this had increased to 50 percent.
In another bid to reduce deaths on the roads, Carlisle’s department is proposing regulations in the Western Cape Provincial Road Traffic Bill banning “blue light” convoys and reducing the maximum speed limit from 120km/h to 110km/h.
The public has been asked to make written submissions to the department before the September 20 deadline.
The bill also proposes the introduction of a 1.5m passing law for bicycles and mandatory 40km/h and 30km/h zones for shops, schools and areas of high pedestrian concentration. It proposes a new offence for reckless behaviour with children in the vehicle, such as speeding, drunk driving or cellphone use, and personal fines for passengers not wearing seatbelts are also among the proposed regulations.
Regarding pedestrian fatalities, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research conducted a study which identified the province’s 10 most hazardous roads for pedestrians.
l Lansdowne Road (the most dangerous).
l Sandkraal Road in George.
l Louis Fourie Road in Mossel Bay.
l The N7 at Malmesbury.
l The R321 at Grabouw.
l The N2 at Nekkies township in Knysna.
l The N2 between Delft and Khayelitsha.
l The N7 at Du Noon.
l Zwelethemba in Worcester.
l The R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West.
Carlisle said: “As other fatalities have come down, the pedestrian fatality rate has gone up. We hope the Crash Witness campaign will drive home to people just how vulnerable pedestrians are and what an appalling experience it is to kill a pedestrian.”
He said while motorists had to be more conscious of pedestrians, there was also a need to get pedestrians off hazardous roads by educating them and through enforcement.
“Lansdowne Road has been identified as having the highest fatality rate. There are no barriers along the road and it is not as well lit as it should be. With the N2, we want to raise the funds to increase the size of the median barrier. That way, we oblige people to use the pedestrian bridges by making it difficult to climb over,” Carlisle said.
Work has already started on four of the roads identified as hazardous to pedestrians.
Work will start on other roads as funds became available.