Drunk driving, speeding, and a lack of law enforcers, are among the biggest safety concerns for drivers on South African roads over the festive period.
This is according to motorists polled by the Automobile Association (AA) in a survey conducted in early December. The poll found that only 8% of motorists feel safe while travelling on South African roads over this period.
According to the results of the poll, 62% of motorists regard drunk driving as the biggest problem on the country’s roads. Apart from speeding and a lack of law enforcers, the survey found that motorists believe unlicensed drivers also pose a major problem.
The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said on Sunday that a total of 3,078 motorists have been arrested on South African roads since December 1 for drunken driving, speeding and reckless road behaviour.
“The results are indicative of what we have been saying for a long time: that the attitude of South African drivers is simply not good enough. Drunk driving, speeding or driving without proper licenses are behaviours that can be changed but aren’t. Unless more is done to prevent these types of conduct, they will continue unabated,” the AA said.
Results from the survey seem to confirm this belief as a staggering 60% of motorists said their safety is reliant on the attitude of other road users. While 8% of motorists said they feel safe travelling on the country’s roads over the festive period, 27% said they didn’t feel safe as the roads they use need upgrading or better maintenance.
“Another worrying element we found was that motorists say that they drive an average of three hours before stopping to take a break. We would encourage all drivers to change this by stopping every two hours or 200 kilometres to refresh and relax. Being tired behind the wheel is extremely dangerous and stopping regularly ensures that you maintain focus for the whole journey,” the AA said.
The association noted that a recent study by the American Automobile Association (AAA) found that drowsy driving is comparable to driving drunk. The AAA has urged all drivers to remain as alert as possible.
Being alert on the road is especially important as 66% of respondents who said they were going away indicated they will be travelling between 501 kilometres and more than 1,500 kilometres over the festive period.