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TRANSPORT: City Invests in Traffic Safety


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“Accidents on our roads have increased sharply over the past 10 years, from around 60 000 in 1997 to over 85 000 by 2006. Our roads are key to economic activity, especially for commuters and logistics, and we need them to function efficiently and safely,” said Cape Town Mayor, Helen Zille, at the opening of the Second International Road Traffic Accident Investigation and Reconstruction Conference on 27 October 2008.

“Research which can help us identify causes of accidents, reduce risk factors and improve the efficiency with which we handle accident scenes is therefore valuable for public safety and our economy,” she added.

The City has re-launched its Road Incident Management System and introduced rigorous measures to prevent road accidents. Traffic Services have been separated from the Metro Police to focus on their core mandate and funding for traffic control has been increased. This has enabled the City to increase visible policing and crack down on drivers causing road hazards. “Traffic policing capacity now needs to be augmented with better information and better information management systems,” Zille said.

The building of a new, R130 million Transport Management Centre in Goodwood, a joint project between the City, Province and the National Roads Agency, will be an important intervention, she said, and will accommodate the City’s CCTV system, traffic signal control, Traffic Services, Metropolitan Transport Information Centre, as well as managing the new integrated transport system.

Co-ordination and co-operation were evident in the demonstration of a simulated accident later in the morning. The “accident” involved a collision between a light delivery vehicle and a stationary kombi, causing several injuries and five fatalities.

Teams from City and Provincial Traffic Services, Metro Police, the City’s Fire Department, the SA Police Services, Provincial rescue services and paramedics, a forensic pathology team, and the SA National Roads Agency, demonstrated the sequence of events that should follow in correct accident management and investigation.

Presenter Stan Bezuidenhout of IBF Investigations praised the excellent co-operation between the teams and said accident response times and efficiency in the Western Cape were exceptional.

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