By Zuleikha Ahmed
The week of 17-23 May 2021 has been declared as United Nations Road Safety Week when advocacy agencies, governments, and citizens alike focus on achievable measures to save lives and make streets safer.
The number of residential road deaths rises daily due to non-law-abiding drivers. What are the measures that need to be implemented to decrease or stop road deaths possibly?
Reducing the speed limit can be one of the best solutions for all communal and residential areas. With pedestrians accounting for 35% of the casualties, it is concerning that children walking or playing around their homes are not safe from the negligent motorist.
Open Streets Organization MP Kristen Wilkinson says that a request to reduce the speed limit from 60 km an hour to 30 km an hour could help curb the deaths or severe injuries to civilians.
At 60 km an hour, a child cannot judge how fast the car is travelling, and most will attempt to run after a ball or cross the road. A vehicle travelling at high speed could ram into a child whose body will not withstand the impact, causing severe injury or death.
Most countries have reduced their speed limits to make it safer for citizens, young and old.
Would placing law enforcement in high-risk areas help to ensure that drivers adhere to the speed limits? It would come at a considerable cost to municipalities, and not all those who break the law will be apprehended.
Open Streets Cape Town supports and advocates locally for the United Nations call for a vehicle speed reduction to 30 km per hour in urban areas where vehicles mix with vulnerable road users. As concerned citizens, we can add our voices to the call for safer streets with lower speed limits to ensure that we are all safe.
Sign the petition here