‘It is a common experience for the rate of road carnage to
go up and down’
Road safety strategies need to be reviewed from time to time
It is of crucial importance that those involved in road safety work should
review their strategies and methods of rendering their services from time to
time, Australian specialist on road safety matters, Mr John Bodinnar, told the
Department’s packed prayer gathering comprising members of various religious
and Christian groupings at the Durban City Hall in June 2003.
Mr Bodinnar’s visit to KwaZulu-Natal to assist the province to reflect on
its road safety strategy follows an ongoing and fruitful interaction between
Ndebele’s Department and the Australians.
This interaction has seen Ndebele leading a delegation of Road Safety
officials to Australia to learn how the Australians do road safety work. The
move was followed by the launch of Asiphephe, an Australian model of that
country’s Project Victoria, which later became a national programme known as
Mr Bodinnar said what was transpiring in KwaZulu-Natal was quite a familiar
pattern. The road accident rate will rise and fall from time to time – road
carnage will occur especially after a phase of observing normality.
"Even in Australia we are seeing the same trend – there was a time
when there was a lot a accidents like you find here in KwaZulu Natal. In
Australia we found that when we thought the accident rate had gone down, it then
picked up again," he explained.
He also pointed out that once a country or province has reached a level of
road safety work at which it can report its road accident rate accurately, it
creates the impression that its road accident rate has increased.
Mr Bodinnar praised Mr Ndebele for having a Department that was able to
interact with society and engage it in road safety awareness work.
The Australian specialist then showed a video depicting the way accidents
occur on the road in real life. He added that he did not apologise for showing
graphic showing shots since it had been proven that when people saw how
accidents happen, the road safety message was reinforced in their heads.
"It is useful to show people what consequences their behaviour on the
road has – even the people gathered here today, when you go away you will be
talking about something you have seen, something you know about. No one amongst
you will conduct himself in an irresponsible way on the road because you shall
have all seen what being involved in road carnage actually means," he
The film he exhibited was made in Australia. He said Australia has seen a
drastic drop in road fatalities due to such films or print adverts.
Australia’s key emphasis in its Road Safety strategy is using cameras to
monitor speed and fine offenders, teaching society about safety on the road, and
ensuring that the road infrastructure is in a good condition.