Picture: SANDILE NDLOVU

Picture: SANDILE NDLOVU

TWO major road crashes involving public transport vehicles and trucks have brought to the fore the need for a holistic approach to road safety after the death of 17 people.

In the recent past, the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) has focused only on public transport vehicles and drink-driving, failing to target the drivers of lorries and heavy commercial trucks, which are a significant proportion of vehicles on the highways. Collisions involving heavy commercial vehicles have highlighted the need to also target them if transport and safety authorities are to achieve greater safety on the road.

In both cases, the crashes occurred early in the morning, suggesting the drivers were fatigued. There is, therefore, a need to re-evaluate the present system, in which truck loaders may not assist in driving. The system has been found to reduce the number of accidents attributed to driver fatigue.

Similarly, there is a need for the NTSA to review the design of roads, especially in black spots. Rather than mourn every time crashes occur in the areas, it should seek ways to improve navigation.

The Treasury should also consider setting aside an emergency fund to finance such projects until something definitive is done to enhance safety on the notorious stretches.