The Guard

The Truth On Board

Transport Month closed with a prayer

By Emily Setona

HARRISMITH – This year’s annual October Transport Month closed off with an interdenominational prayer on the N3 Road last Friday, amid concerns that the death toll on the roads is statistically ‘frightening’ and one death is one too many.

During the month of October, the department of police, roads and transport in the Free State embarked on a rigorous campaign to educate motorists about the importance of observing road safety rules before the festive season picks up.

Key stakeholders came together to close off the transport month with an interdenominational prayer event at the Balmoral Shell Ultra City in Harrismith. The department of Transport, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA), South African Breweries (SAB) and other stakeholders gave a message of support to motorists and the government officials who have to protect members of the public on the roads this festive season.

The head of communication of RTIA, Fakadzi Malindzisa, informed those in attendance about AARTO – an acronym for Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences – which is guided by an act of Parliament (ACT No. 46 of 1998) and is currently being implemented on a pilot basis in the Johannesburg and Tshwane Metropolitan areas.

“The RTIA is responsible for coordinating the implementation of AARTO throughout the country, that is why we are here in the Free State this month to make motorists aware,” Malindzisa said.

With statistics showing that the death toll on South African roads is 3 500 deaths every 24 hours, Thabang Mashia of SAB said: “We at SAB are aware that motorists have adopted a culture of ‘one for the road’ and in response to this we say none for the road.”

SAB has decided to promote the consumption of non-alcoholic beverages or alcoholic beverages with a lower percentage of alcohol.

With the festive season around the corner, pastors from different denominations preached to the audience the seven words of caution on road safety: vehicle fitness; overloading; safety Belt; pedestrian safety; speeding; fatigue; and drunk driving.  

The acting head of department of police, roads and transport Mosa Tlali spoke on behalf of MEC William Bulwane who couldn’t make it to the event due to other commitments. “All the pastors who spoke at this event had powerful words to share and perhaps it is in inviting them here with God in our midst that this war against this high toll of road accidents can be defeated. I am truly humbled and honoured to be part of this event.”