The Automobile Association has made the startling claim that the Road Traffic Safety Board, which was convened by embattled Transport Minister Dullah Omar, has failed to hold a meeting for almost two years.

The Automobile Association (AA) has made the startling claim that the Road Traffic Safety Board, which was convened by embattled Transport Minister Dullah Omar, has failed to hold a meeting for almost two years.

Addressing a national assembly transport committee on road safety and fatalities, AA spokesman Petra Kruger said the Road Traffic Safety Board had failed to meet since June 2001.

The board, the reported on Thursday, was supposed to receive reports on work in progress in the implementation of government’s Road Traffic Safety Strategy.

There have been increasing calls for the dismissal of Omar, who has denied that the Arrive Alive campaign was a failure despite the holiday season death toll on SA’s roads climbing to 1 204 by the middle of January. The December toll was 25 per cent higher than a year ago, despite Omar’s five-year road safety strategy to reduce the death toll by five per cent.

Omar was diagnosed with Hodgkins-Classic, a form of cancer of the lymph nodes, in mid-January and public enterprises minister Jeff Radebe is standing in as Transport Minister.

In reaction to Kruger’s claim, ANC MP Patricia Coetzee-Kasper defended Omar. Coetzee-Kasper said she was shocked that there had been no meeting of the board, but she was just as shocked by people blaming Omar for this.

Kruger said the road safety strategy could be reasonably evaluated only this year. The last complete report available on accident figures is for 1998, when there were 9 086 deaths, 36 246 people seriously injured and 84 358 slightly injured in road accidents.

Original article from Car