A more pragmatic approach to law enforcement is needed, says the AA. File photo: Masi Losi
Johannesburg – Ask any South African whether compliance with the rules of the of the road has improved over the past two years, and nine out of 10 will tell you that the opposite is true: it’s getting worse.

And three out of four will say that the attitudes of drivers towards each other has also deteriorated.

This according to an Automobile Association survey of 1000 drivers into driving conditions, driver attitudes, and driver behaviour, conducted during April - but worst of all, says the AA, between 83 percent of drivers in Mpumalanga and 100 percent in the Northern Cape and North West provinces believe the problems on South African are somebody else’s fault.

That simply means not enough motorists are taking responsibility for their actions, says the AA.

But it gets worse; despite all the ‘zero tolerance’ political posturing and well-publicised roadblocks, more than half the motorists polled believe visible policing on roads has declined over the past two years, 32 percent think it’s about the same and only 13 percent say they think it has improved since 2015.

A more pragmatic approach to law enforcement is needed, says the AA, together with giving officials the necessary resources to do their jobs effectively. But that alone won’t be enough, it says; the entire justice system needs to be involved to ensure that drivers know there will be consequences for flouting the law.

“This survey again highlights that too many drivers believe road traffic laws don’t apply to them, which, when combined with what is perceived to be lower police visibility, is perhaps part of the reason for our country’s high road fatality statistics,” concludes the AA. “Unless driver attitudes improve, in addition to more effective policing, the carnage on South African roads will continue unabated.”

IOL Motoring

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