Concerned with the road carnage involving youth, the police will soon introduce Target 20,000, a campaign targeting the youth as the most affected individuals by roads accidents.
More people continue to lose their lives in road-related incidents with road accidents remaining the leading cause of death amongst youth, something that has been a national concern.
About 450 deaths were recorded in 2016 whilst 444 people died on the road in 2017. Police revealed that from January to date there are already 229 deaths with the youth being the most affected individuals.
Speaking at the just-ended National Road Safety Committee Pillar Implementation Seminar that was held at Tlotlo Hotel, the director of traffic, Senior Assistant Commissioner Katlholo Mosimanegape raised a concern over the escalating number of road deaths countrywide calling for immediate attention.
“More lives are lost on a daily basis on our roads and it worries us because the most affected people are the youth. “They (youth) are the ones who usually cause unnecessary accidents that often lead to deaths with the victims being the youth.
“We have a campaign that will soon be rolled out across the country in which we will be targeting 20,000 youths to sensitise them on issues of safer roads with efforts to curb the escalating road deaths,” he said.
He said that the campaign is to be rolled out across the country starting this coming President’s Day holidays and will run until December 31, 2018.
“Road deaths are a concern, especially along the A1 Road. We intend to carry out this national road safety campaign on weekends, month-ends and during public holidays targeting road users with the focus being the youth.
“Our wish is to see people taking road deaths seriously and playing a vital role towards its eradication,” he said.
He stated that when calling kgotla meetings or other public forums, the response of youth is very low something that forced them to come
“We have observed that we can only have the opportunity to sensitise them on issues of road safety whilst travelling because they seem to be too busy to attend our forums. “Our population is still low but surprisingly more people continue to loss their lives on a daily basis on our roads. Families continue to loss their loved ones, breadwinners and key personnel that contribute a lot to the country’s economy perish due to road accidents, something that worries us the police,” Mosimanegape said.
Mosimanegape said it is time road deaths are taken seriously like in the era of HIV/AIDS that was killing people in large numbers. “That time every organisation took it as their responsibility to sensitise their workers against the pandemic. “We are faced with a crisis and my wish is to see every company having road safety programmes in their workplace where workers will be sensitised on issues of road safety,” he said.
In the process, driving schools will also be targeted in making sure that people are well-trained before they acquire drivers’ licences.
He stated that driving schools are critical, hence the need for them to stop seeing their businesses as something that they survive on, but to know that they are also builders of the nation.
“We will soon visit all driving schools countrywide doing inspections for compliance with regulations.
“We want to avoid unnecessary accidents hence the need for driving schools to stop doing shoddy jobs. We are faced with a crisis, when it is raining or when there is traffic, we record unnecessary accidents because people were not trained to drive in such conditions,” he said, vowing to continue enforcing road rules and regulations without fear or favour.