In addition, the Road Freight Association has called for urgent action to be taken with regards to traffic policing and management, saying that the industry is where it is today due to weak implementation of regulatory and other requirements.
Is the issue just that? Or have so many accepted a culture of recklessness? The problem is that there is a lack of adherence to one of the most fundamental rules of the road and that is operating an unroadworthy vehicle. Now add a “Lazy Daisy” approach to maintenance quality and possible overloading to boost profits, coupled with poor road condition and you are left with an accident waiting to happen.
The final ingredient in this disastrous recipe is the driver. A survey conducted by WITS University (Publication by News24, 6 February 2023) concluded that as many as half of South African truck drivers gets less than 5 hours sleep a day and that the average work hours per week of survey participants were 93 hours, that’s 22 hours more than the 71 hours per week mandated by the South African Labour Relations Act. A stretch of the M41 in Umhlanga, north of Durban, resembled a scrapyard in the morning traffic after a fully laden truck ploughed into 47 vehicles in peak-hour. Crumpled cars, some on top of each other, were scattered on the road after the occupants were attended to by numerous emergency services that rushed to the scene.
If it is not an issue of recklessness, what is it? The reported 41-vehicle 6-dead pile up in heavy mist on the N3 outside Hilton endorses the attitude of recklessness. It is much more than a law-book and enforcement – it is a culture that must change.
Be part of the solution and not the problem.