An investigation into road safety education in KwaZulu-Natal
Road fatalities claim more than one million lives annually worldwide. The emotional, social and economic impact of road traffic fatalities demands urgent attention globally. This epidemic of road traffic fatalities is plaguing everyone, especially the poorer nations. Some countries like Australia and Sweden have been more successful than others in combating this epidemic. South Africa is currently seeking strategies to combat this epidemic because South Africa’s road traffic fatalities have been increasing annually, with a substantial percentage of teenagers and young adults between the ages of 16 and 29 contributing to these statistics. This age group will become or already have become part of the economically active population and concern is mounting as to why this particular age group is vulnerable. This thesis provides an overview of the road safety problem globally, nationally, provincially and locally and also looks at the historical factors that have contributed to this problem. The Victorian model, which has been classified as the ‘world’s best practice’, has been reviewed. A pilot survey was conducted at the Mangosuthu Technikon and the focal survey was conducted at the tertiary institutions in the Durban area. Students from this sector were selected as they fall in the most vulnerable age group and data was collected from them on various aspects of road safety. On analysing the data, various problems were identified, in particular, lack of resources and limited education pertaining to road safety. A range of possible solutions is recommended and the focus areas are the 3E’s namely: education, enforcement and engineering. However, the focal recommendation is on education and looks at the possibility of introducing learner’s licence testing to the grade 12 syllabi.