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Impact of the Western Cape’s 'Safely Home' road initiative questioned

Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell Mitchell pictured at a recent event where traffic officials were checking for licences. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell Mitchell pictured at a recent event where traffic officials were checking for licences. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published May 6, 2022

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Cape Town - The impact and target audience of the Western Cape’s “Safely Home” initiative was questioned in the legislature as Transport MEC Daylin Mitchell said there had been a reduction in road fatalities since the campaign began.

The question emerged during a briefing to the legislature’s Transport Standing Committee by the department on the Western Cape 2022 Easter Weekend road safety statistics and the road safety plan for 2022.

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Provincial ANC Transport spokesperson Lulama Mvimbi had asked about the link between the national government’s Arrive Alive campaign and Safely Home and whether the safety programmes were benefiting communities.

Mvimbi said he was aware that Safely Home was the Western Cape’s programme and had been around for at least a decade but wanted to know whether it was competing with or complimenting the national government’s Arrive Alive programme and whether it had shown any results.

“Who is being educated here? Is it an administrative awareness process among traffic officers or do we at some point involve communities in these education and awareness programmes?”

He said he was especially concerned about whether the communities living along the national roads were benefiting from the programmes.

Mitchell said: “I think it’s important to note the impact that Safely Home has had on the provincial roads including decreasing fatalities on the Western Cape roads, bearing in mind that our roads were once some of the most dangerous provincial roads in the country.

“If you look at the statistics between 2009 and 2020, we have seen a reduction of 46% in road fatalities during that time, so obviously the Safely Home campaign is having an impact on road fatalities.”

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He said the initiatives by the department in conjunction with provincial traffic and various other law enforcement agencies ultimately benefited road users and not necessarily just the motorised ones.

“We also focus on pedestrians. We expose commuters and pedestrians to the road safety campaigns. It is not just a social media enforcement campaign but it is actually on the ground.”

Mitchell invited the committee to join him and officials when the next integrated provincial roadblock was held, to see the impact for themselves.

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