The problem is, the report notes figures from 2010/2011, with 13 802 fatalities reported. Having the figures from this period is valuable. However, having current figures with which to compare the statistics with is ideal. The AA shares my sentiments and is also concerned with the lack of up-to-date figures. Having comparable figures would go a long way to measuring the efficacy of the United Nations’ Decade of Action for Road Safety aimed at reducing road deaths by 2020.
According to the AA it has discovered that, of the 180 countries involved in the report, South Africa has the most outdated figures; in other words, this is not really a true reflection of the state of our roads, right? Given that the data is not updated, it is difficult to measure the success or failure of any campaign aimed at improving road safety in the country. Without these updated figures, organisations involved in promoting road safety are forced to speculate on the results of their campaigns. So what happens if we take the 2013 report and compare it to the 2015 report? Well, the 2013 report uses 2009 statistics and as previously mentioned, the current report uses 2010/2011 figures. The survey released in 2013 shows 13 768 fatalities while the 2015 report is almost identical at 13 802 fatalities. That means, there’s been almost no improvement in the state of our roads if one has to compare the figures.
The AA also points out that when comparing these figures it becomes clear there’s been little or no improvement on the road fatality figures in three years. But given that there are no updated statistics since this period, this indicates an institutional problem that must be dealt with as a matter of priority to address the shocking state of road safety in South Africa.
I do believe there must be something done; I would not be surprised if the statistics from this year do not show a significant improvement in road fatalities. It comes down to a mindset. People still drive/walk drunk, text and drive, drive while performing other activities and indeed when they are too tired to concentrate. Vehicles that are unroadworthy still populate our roads and unlicensed drivers still pilot vehicles.
THE World Health Organisation (WHO) - amongst other things - is in the business of tracking global trends related to road traffic accidents. It recently revealed the average road deaths per 100 000 inhabitants in each country across the globe.
We have selected key countries throughout the world to compare South Africa with:
Road deaths per 100 000 inhabitants
|Country||Deaths per 100 000||Population||Vehicles|
|South Africa||25.1 deaths||52.8 million-strong population||9.9 million vehicles|
|Zimbabwe||28.2 deaths||14.1 million residents||900 000 vehicles|
|Nigeria||20.5 deaths||173.6 million population||5.8 million vehicles|
|Brazil||23.4 deaths||200.4 million residents||81.6 million vehicles|
|USA||10.6 deaths||320.1 million population||265 million vehicles|
|Australia||5.4 deaths||23.3 million population||17.2 million vehicles|
|India||16.6 deaths||1.252 billion population||159.5 million vehicles|
|United Kingdom||2.9 deaths||61.3 million population||35.6 million vehicles|
|Libya||73.4 deaths||6.2 million population||3.6 million vehicles|
|China||18.8 deaths||1.385 billion population||250.1 million vehicles|
Interactive MAP, choose theme at the top left.
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