The Automobile Association (AA) said crumbling local and provincial infrastructure is contributing to South Africa’s poor road safety levels and needs to be addressed urgently if meaningful steps are to be taken to improve its horrendous road safety record. .
In a statement, the association said dangerous potholed streets, clogged storm drains, pollution-filled rivers and streams and traffic islands are some of the issues that require attention and priority from local and state authorities.
The AA said human behavior is often to blame for traffic accidents when prevailing road conditions are the culprit.
“When we hear about the high number of pedestrians who die every year in South Africa, we have to ask ourselves whether our roads are adequately equipped for this group of road users. Are there enough sidewalks to walk on, or are they pushed onto the road by other vehicles?
The AA said the deteriorating infrastructure is also contributing to dangerous conditions.
“When it rains in certain areas, roads get stuck and even small streams become impassable. Rainwater drains are clogged, causing streams of water to flow over busy roads, preventing vehicles from using them. New potholes are created and existing potholes get even bigger and deeper.”
The association said road users across South Africa should actively report incidents of maintenance failures to their local authorities,
“We know all too well that such an approach yields little results, but we think it is still a necessary step to solve problems and get things right. It is a crucial first step, along with reaching out to local councilors and community leaders.”
Meanwhile, the number traffic lights not working in Johannesburg city, frustrates motorists which had to deal with heavy traffic congestion on Wednesday. The traffic chaos was also exacerbated by Eskom implementing phase 4 load separation and the wet weather conditions.