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SANRAL Pedestrian Road Safety Strategy



NDOT: Road Safety Strategy 2006 Pedestrian and Cycle Strategy

Strategic Imperatives
  • Pedestrian visibility campaigns
  • Education of school children
  • Reduction of speed limits in areas of heavy pedestrian activity
  • Enforcement of no-pedestrian laws on freeways
  • Advertising – radio campaigns on community radio – visibility
  • Engineering solutions e.g. bridges, sidewalks and traffic calming
  • Enforcement activities for pedestrians
  • Revision of drink-walking laws
  • Limit vehicles carrying passengers on load areas to 80 kph, and eventually prevent this type of transport altogether.

Nearly half of the deaths that occur on South African roads are of pedestrians. This is true for other developing countries, where the percentage of pedestrian deaths is from 65-90%. There are several challenges that affect projects in this area.

  • Many roads are not designed for pedestrian usage, with features such as side-walks and pedestrian crossings and/or fences are often non-existent.
  • High levels of alcohol abuse result in drunk people walking on the roads. 70% of adult pedestrians who are killed on our roads are drunk.
  • Lack of visibility of pedestrians is an issue, and several projects are being introduced to address this problem, including the use of retro-reflective material on school uniforms being introduced in 2006.
  • Due to a lack of public transport in some areas, people walk for long distances to reach buses or taxis.
  • Informal, unplanned housing and even formal suburbs are often separated from schools, shops, clinics or places of recreation by highways.
  • We are one of the few countries in the world where first class roads run across “third world” settlements.

Vehicle speed in areas of high pedestrian activity (schools, intersections, outside shebeens etc) should be reduced to 30 kph.  “At impact speeds over 30 kmh, pedestrians and cyclists risk sustaining life-threatening injuries. At 60 kph, death is virtually certain.”


SANRAL Road Safety Management System

The Sanral Road Safety Management System (RSMS) provides a general overview of the processes for managing the SANRAL road network to improve safety for all road users.

By developing the RSMS, SANRAL is working towards ensuring that road safety is a central consideration in every decision made about construction, maintenance, operation and the management of its road network.

SANRAL supports the integrated approach to road safety and believes that the disciplines of engineering, education, and enforcement (known as the Three E’s of Road Safety) each play a vital role in reducing the carnage on our roads.

As a road authority, SANRAL’s primary sphere of influence is engineering. The RSMS has however been designed to allow for the facilitation of the integrated approach to road safety. (add link to SANRAL Road Safety Management System)

SANRAL Pedestrian Road Safety Strategy

It is clear from the NDOT Road Safety Strategy 2006, that we face an immense challenge to address Road Safety and Pedestrian Road Safety in particular.

Our approach is in line with our Road Safety Management System, and entails the following:

Reactive Measures: Respond to known areas of pedestrian / vehicle conflict points on our National Road Network
Proactive Measures: Ensure due consideration is given to the needs of pedestrians with all new infrastructure provided. Influence what happens adjacent to our Road Network with respect developments that generate pedestrian trips
Road Safety Education and Training: Embark upon Network Level and Project Level Road Safety Education and Training Exercises

SANRAL Pedestrian Road Safety Strategy: Reactive Approach

There are known areas, many of which are supported by collision statistics, where pedestrian collisions rates are of major concern. These areas are addressed systematically to ensure a safe road environment for all road users.

We must be mindful not to only provide infrastructure that addresses the symptoms of Pedestrian Safety concerns. If we do, we run the risk of providing safe alternatives without consideration for what the pedestrian transportation needs are. This may well lead to the failure of the infrastructure provided to adequately address the Road Safey concern. (Refer to Reactive Approach 1)

A more sustainable approach is one that finds solutions that address the core of the road safety problem. (Refer to Reactive Approach 2). This approach also increases the chances of providing the most appropriate infrastructure needs, backed up by the most relevant education an enforcement activities. Transport and Road Safety needs are then addressed simultaneously.

Reactive Approach 1: Addressing Symptoms only

Reactive Approach 2: The Integrated Approach

SANRAL Pedestrian Road Safety Strategy: Proactive Approach

Direct Interventions on the National Road Network
The reality of the situation is that pedestrians make use of our National Road Network on a daily basis, to get to and from schools, places of work and for essential and basic services. The challenge is to ensure that pedestrians make use of the National Road Network in a responsible manner, by providing appropriate infrastructure supported by education and enforcement activities.

Road Safety Audits
All Infrastructure projects must be subjected to a Road Safety Audit, part of which includes the analysis of the provision for Pedestrian needs.

Indirect Interventions
Development adjacent to the National Road Network to a large extent determines the characteristics of the road users. Developments which by their very nature generate significant pedestrian activity must be controlled in a proactive manner to prevent rather have to fix pedestrian / vehicle conflict points.

The reality is that South Africa’s high quality and standard National Road Network, normally associated with high operating speeds transverses many less planned and developed communities. The diversity in road user type results in high collision rates, often fatal for pedestrians.

All plans associated with extending or introducing new residential developments must be done in close collaboration with SANRAL. The objective being to ensure that we control what happens outside the road reserve in order to influence our pedestrians access and operate within the road reserve.

SANRAL Pedestrian Road Safety Strategy: Road Safety Education and Training

Network Level Approach
There is a need for a strategic National pedestrian road safety awareness and education campaign aimed systematic problems, such as:

  • “Drunk walking” (narcotics)
  • Appropriate use of pedestrian infrastructure
  • “no go zones” such as Freeways
  • Motorists behaviour / attitude towards pedestrians
  • Shock Tactics must be considered

Project Level Approach
Each Project that provides pedestrian road safety infrastructure must be subjected a complimentary road safety and education project, specifically directed at the appropriate use of the infrastructure. Project level education and training must be done through the full life cycle of the project.

International Shock Tactics have proven successful:

SUMMARY: Pedestrian Road Safety Strategy