According to a recent WHO study (2013), South Africa has a mortality rate of 31.9 per 100 000 population ranking it 177th of the 182 countries participating in the study. The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) is the lead agency for road safety matters in South Africa. Its overall goal is to improve road safety management and to design a set of effective road safety programmes which are well matched with the Safe System approach, and will have their effects on the numbers of (fatal and injury-related) crashes. The RTMC commissioned SWOV to draft a Road Safety Strategy for South Africa. The current report is the first Deliverable, addressing the first phase of the project: the Inception Report. The aim of this first phase was to get a clear understanding of all the issues related to road safety in South Africa and to get a clear picture of how to design and implement subsequent phases. The information in this report is collected through face-to-face interviews of several relevant national and regional high level stakeholders, presentations by RTMC staff and during a workshop with a Reference Group set up by the RTMC and consisting of independent academics, experts and practitioners. In addition, the RTMC provided several supporting documents and data. The Inception Report presents the preliminary findings concerning the road safety situation in South Africa, the current crash registration practices, and the work done so far towards a road safety strategy, and places these findings in the framework of global road safety developments and national policies. The report concludes that there is a sound body of scientific evidence available to combat the occurrence of road crashes. However, an effective National Road Safety Strategy must be based on a thorough diagnosis of road traffic injuries in South Africa, on current policies and on organisational structures. The Strategy needs to consist of two main components: a ‘management’ component and an ‘intervention’ component. The report proposes to structure the work according to three recognized international sources: 1. The three level approach for analysing road safety problems (Rumar, 1999); 2. The SUNflower approach for comparing road safety performances of countries (Koornstra et al., 2002); 3. The World Bank country guidelines for road safety management capacity reviews (Bliss & Breen, 2009). Furthermore, the report proposes to carry out the project in two more phases. In Phase 2 relevant information has to be collected to get a thorough view of the status quo as well as the of gaps to bridge to realise the road safety level that South Africa wants to reach at some future point in time. In Phase 3 the actual strategy and related implementable road safety programmes have to be drafted and introduced. The findings of the current Inception Phase clearly show that wide consultation with South African key stakeholders during both subsequent phases is vital for success.
Towards a National Road Safety Strategy for South Africa
The Inception Report