With 3 500 pedestrians killed on SA roads annually, the South African National Roads Agency Limited has launched a pedestrian safety project in KwaZulu-Natal.

With 3 500 pedestrians killed on SA roads annually, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has launched a pedestrian safety project in KwaZulu-Natal.

Sanral said a further 10 000 pedestrians were seriously injured every year and 18 000 sustained minor injuries.

According to the National Department of Transport, an improved national road safety strategy could potentially result in a saving to the economy of R770 million per annum.

“The haphazard nature in which town planning was historically carried out has contributed to the spread of formal and informal settlements next to national roads. The ensuing situation is intense pedestrian activity next to these roads, which has put pedestrians at greater risk,” said the agency.

The project includes pedestrian safety education and hazardous location upgrade projects. “We believe that the empowerment of communities bordering on national highways, through road safety education and programmes, are likely to result in the reduction of the high social and economic costs of road accident-related injuries and deaths. For this strategy to be realised on the ground, communication and public participation are seen as key focal areas,” said Nazir Alli, chief executive of Sanral.

Sanral said it had collected information to identify and assess sites that posed problems to road users, and to find suitable solutions. Research has shown that the planning of land use, the safe layout and design of the road and street system, and the application of proven traffic management techniques are among the most effective approaches for improving road safety.