South Africa was left shaken this weekend after a horror crash in northern KZN in which 20 people were killed, of which 19 were children. Dashcam footage of the incident shows a truck overtaking another and then colliding with a bakkie carrying the young passengers. The Road Safety Partnership South Africa (RSP-SA), expresses their condolences during this very sad time for the parents of those killed in the crash and South Africa as a whole.
The RSP-SA says it is incidents such as these that motivate the organisation to bring about change on our roads, particularly when it comes to road safety initiatives that affect vulnerable road users such as children. “Improving road safety for the youth, involves commitment and dedication from all sectors in society. Incidents such as these provide powerful motivation to the RSP-SA to engage with organisations as part of their social responsibility initiatives that educate communities, schools and scholars on responsible road use.
“It is by taking a proactive approach that the RSP-SA believes the greatest difference can be made. Changing the current state on our roads, particularly those that involve children, is much less fruitful and effective if we only react to tragic situations rather than prepare drivers and, in certain instances, children themselves to be aware, ready and equipped to respond to a potentially dangerous situation.”
While this is not to minimise the tragedy of what happened, it does provide an example of why these initiatives are so important. “One such initiative the RSP-SA is involved in, is the Safe-to-School, Safe-to-Home initiative. Drivers of scholar transport are trained and given support to be the best drivers they can and to be the advocates for vulnerable road users by committing to prioritising their safety.
“The initiative saw great success last year and we look forward to emulating that success this year. Children that are injured for life or killed are the road users that deserve prioritisation as we are their voice and they are our future.”
Ultimately, the tragedy of what happened this weekend is just one example of many that happen on a weekly if not daily basis. “Sadly, many people may not be able to truly comprehend the tragedy of what happened because not many can fully understand how massive a loss of 19 lives is. To draw a comparison, 19 is the number killed in USA’s mass school shooting in Texas almost three months ago.
“This tragedy is absolute motivation for the RSP-SA to continue working on social responsibility initiatives that focus on children. In the meantime, we express our sincere condolences to every family member, educator and friend affected by this massive loss,” says the RSP-SA.