World Health Organisation (WHO) survey indicates that NIgeria and South Africa have the worst road death records in the world and is the worst and second-worst in Africa. The survey revealed that South Africa ranked 177th out of 182 countries investigated. The study measured deaths per 100,000 and South Africa ranked along with Iran, Nigeria, Thailand and Venezuela.
Comparatively, despite having the best roads in the continent, South Africa’s figures were second-worst in the continent after Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa that is confronted with bad roads despite its long years of existence as a nation. South Africa’s death rate per 100,000 was 31.9 and Nigeria’s 33.7. This compared with Iceland at 2.8, and Sweden and Switzerland each on 3.
The South African Road Federation (SARF) said the road death toll here equated to one jumbo jet crashing and killing 1,200 people each month. Logashri Sewnerain, SARF president, said the problem was complex and closely tied to widespread lawlessness and a culture of violence.
Industry followers are of the opinion that what is required is determined political leadership and much stricter law enforcement. This school of thought queried why 70 percent of heavy vehicles had defective brakes or tyres and why trucks travelled in excess of the 80km/h speed limit with impunity. For Nigeria, the authorities appeared more concerned with collecting speeding fines than traffic policing and called for stricter, more visible policing.