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By 9 March 2015 | Categories: news

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In April, Easter marks the year's first time that South Africa's roads will experience a mass exodus, as major landlocked cities like Johannesburg and Pretoria get vacated for the holidays. It is also a time when accidents on the road are rife, and the loss of human life is at an all time high. As such, the head of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), Makhosini Mbisi, is set to revise current awareness campaigns to try to reduce the number of accidents.

Mbisi has advocated a shock value campaign as far as driver awareness goes, just as his department did during the 2014/2015 festive season, where images of smashed cars where displayed on billboards in some of SA's high accident areas. Mbisi also detailed two newly revised plans.

The first revolved around having a better understanding of human behaviour. "They behave when they see us [traffic officials] there during campaigns and during the day, but that ends when we are not there," notes Mbisi. He also added that more officials were needed at nighttime. “The problem is that after 8 pm, there are not enough officers on the roads and that’s when most of the accidents occur” says Mbisi.

“We have been working closely with other departments to make sure we reduce fatalities” Msibi said. He added that the RTMC is “including the department of education, because we believe it is critical that we change the mindset of people at school level, making them more aware and prudent of road safety."

The statistics make for some sombre reading, as the RTMC estimates a total of 1118 fatalities occurred during the recent festive season, with 212 crashes having occurred on Gauteng roads.

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