Faizel Patel
Senior Digital Journalist
2 minute read
9 Mar 2022
5:07 pm

Crumbling infrastructure contributing to South Africa’s poor road safety – AA

Faizel Patel

The AA said human behaviour is often blamed for road crashes when prevailing road conditions are the culprit

Picture: iStock

The Automobile Association (AA) said the crumbling local and provincial infrastructure is contributing to South Africa’s poor road safety levels and must be addressed urgently if meaningful strides are to be made in improve the country’s horrendous road safety record.

In a statement, the association said dangerous potholed streets, blocked stormwater drains, pollution-filled rivers and streams and traffic islands are among the issues that require attention and should be prioritized by local and provincial authorities.

The AA said human behaviour is often blamed for road crashes when prevailing road conditions are the culprit.

“When we hear of the high number of pedestrians who are killed annually in South Africa we must ask if sufficient provision is being made for this road user group on our roads. Are there adequate sidewalks for them to walk on, or are they forced onto the road surface with other vehicles?

The AA said deteriorating infrastructure is also contributing to hazardous conditions.

“When it rains in certain areas, roads become gridlocked as even small streams become impassable. Stormwater drains are clogged resulting in torrents of water flowing down busy roads, making it impossible for vehicles to use them. New potholes are created, and existing potholes get even bigger and deeper.”

The Association said road users across South Africa should actively report incidents of maintenance failure to their local authorities,

“We know all too well that such an approach yields little results, but we believe it’s still a necessary step in dealing with problems and getting things working right. It’s a critical first step along with engaging with local councillors and community leaders.”

Meanwhile, the number of traffic lights not working in the city of Johannesburg has frustrated motorists who had to deal with heavy traffic congestions on Wednesday. The traffic chaos was also exacerbated by Eskom implementing stage 4 load shedding and the wet weather conditions.

ALSO READ: Is road design or driver behaviour to blame for SA road fatalities?