A TOTAL of 1 279 people died on South Africa’s roads from December 1 to 31 last year, says the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) ("Appeal for better train service to cut road deaths”, January 7). The number excludes the tragic death on January 3 of South African Olympian cyclist Burry Stander, who was killed when hit by a taxi while cycling south of Durban.
The country’s December festive season road death toll therefore equates to 41 deaths a day.
To put this number in perspective, there were 3 253 Coalition military deaths in the Afghan war from October 2001 till December 31 last year. So in 11 years of this deadly war 296 Coalition soldiers died a year, or to compare it to the SA road death statistics, 25 a month or 0.83 deaths a day.
Even given the disparity in the number of Coalition forces and SA inhabitants, it is sobering to think you have virtually a 5 000% higher chance of being killed on one of our roads than in one of the bloodiest wars currently on the planet. Whatever money we invest in road safety is a total waste and whoever is managing it must be axed forthwith.
Geoff Bird, Port Elizabeth