15 July 2018


THE OFFICIAL BOKONE BOPHIRIMA GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPER

More pedestrians perish on N1 and N4

by: Thandokazi Mgemntu   date: 22 july 2018

Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire (Bakwena) has urged community members not to cross the N1 and N4 freeways on foot.
 
Bakwena has recorded 15 pedestrian deaths on its freeways between January and May this year. This is a 400% increase in pedestrian fatalities during the same period in 2017.
 
Bakwena Commercial Manager, Liam Clarke, says the rise in pedestrian deaths is disturbing. 

“Not only is it illegal to cross freeways on foot, but downright dangerous. Motor vehicles travel up to 120 kilometres per hour on freeways. They do not expect to see pedestrians on the road and cannot stop abruptly if someone suddenly appears in front of them. The result is always fatal,” Clarke said. 
 
Most of the deaths that occurred since January on the N4 near Bapong are an indication that community members in the area are not making use of the pedestrian bridges erected to ensure that they cross the freeway safely.
 
In March Bakwena with other stakeholders ran a road safety campaign to encourage pedestrians to follow the rules of the road for their own safety. 

“We partnered with ER24, Imperial Logistics and the North West Department of Community Safety and Transport Management at an event held at the Ke ya Rona Mall in Bapong to highlight the danger of crossing freeways on foot,” said Clarke.
 
He added that Bakwena was aware that bridges were sometimes regarded as unsafe for pedestrians as they are often targeted by criminals.

“In this respect, we provide community members with tips on how to be safe by walking in groups and not walking in secluded areas late at night. Our disaster management team also patrols bridges in the mornings and late afternoons to ensure children get to and from school safely.”
 
Another measure aimed at discouraging pedestrians from crossing freeways is the erection of fences and palisades alongside the freeway. 
“Unfortunately, these are often vandalized, leaving gaps for pedestrians to get through,” explained Clarke. 
 
Nearly half of people dying on South African roads are pedestrians. Many of these deaths can be attributed to adults who have consumed excessive amounts of alcohol, which impairs their ability to react to dangerous situations. According to SANRAL, about 70% of adult pedestrians killed on South African roads are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
 
Clarke said everyone needed to accept responsibility for road safety. “Motorists need to be alert at all times and adhere to speed limits and other rules of the road. 

“It is illegal for pedestrians to walk on freeways, therefore pedestrians need to cross the freeway using pedestrian bridges provided and not take unnecessary risks. While our road traffic officials try their best to enforce road rules, they cannot be everywhere at once. As adults we need to set a good example for our children to ensure their safety on our roads,” he concluded.