As part of continuous efforts to engage and connect with youth and get them involved in road safety, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) hosted a webinar that focuses on youth and road safety amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The panelists include Sidumo Khoza, who works under research and development at the RTMC, and Olivia Nalwadda, Youth Advisory Board Member for the Global Youth Coalition for Road Safety.
Road Safety and the COVID-19 Pandemic
The webinar talked about road safety amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this April, His Excellency Fikile Mbalalu, Minister of Transport of South Africa explained that the lockdown has helped curb road fatalities.
He reported that “As at the end of the Easter weekend, 26 fatal crashes were recorded, which resulted in 28 fatalities. Most crashes involved pedestrians and single vehicles overturned, with contributions of 38% and 19% respectively.”
Apart from reducing the number of road-related deaths and injuries, the COVID-19 pandemic has also exposed the need for safer and more sustainable forms of mobility.
It has shown that public transport vehicles work best when passengers and commuters are not overloaded and that other forms of sustainable transport, such as cycling, if effective and convenient provided that cars and other vehicles follow speeding laws.
South African Youth and Road Safety
According to Safer Spaces, South Africa bears the highest burden of road fatalities in Africa. Road-related deaths in South Africa account for the 25.1 fatalities per 100,000 of the total African population. Road crashes are ranked to be the 9thleading cause of death for youth in Africa.
Because of this, the RTMC sought to create a coalition for road safety for the youth of South Africa. This was attempted a few years back, however, it did not gain momentum because of the lack of commitment and involvement from key stakeholders.
Recent projects, activities, and initiatives by organizations like Youth for Road Safety and the Global Youth Coalition have reignited the need and importance of youth involvement in the road safety revolution.
Following positive youth feedback. the RTMC is re-energizing the South African Youth Coalition for Road Safety, beginning with the Youth and Road Safety Webinar.
Impact of the Youth Coalition
As one of the panelists, Youth Advisory Board Member for the Global Youth Coalition, Olivia Nalwadda, shared her experience with the Coalition. Olivia talked about how engaging and investing in youth is a long term commitment.
She also emphasized the need to provide youth with the opportunity to connect with key stakeholders, provided that they have been given the skills, knowledge, and capacity development tools needed to create a significant and lasting impact.
YOURS and the Global Youth Coalition continuously work on these key aspects to make sure that youth are engaged and involved in local and global road safety and sustainable mobility efforts.
Learn more about our youth activities by checking out our workshops. Be part of the change and join the movement by becoming a member of the Global Youth Coalition for Road Safety.