WC: 44% of road deaths are pedestrians

Western Cape authorities claim 44 percent of deaths on the province's highways are pedestrians.

FILE: The City of Cape Town's Robbie Roberts says the priority committee was set up in May this year to monitor the N2. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape authorities claim 44 percent of deaths on the province's highways are pedestrians.

Provincial traffic authorities have teamed up with the Western Cape government, the City of Cape Town, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) and police.

Together they have formed a priority committee to tackle crime on the N2 Highway, which has seen protest action, robberies and recently the murder of a Hawks officer in July.

The City of Cape Town's Robbie Roberts says the priority committee was set up in May this year to monitor the N2.

Roberts says there are 16 pedestrian bridges on the N2 and their research shows 15,500 people make use of them.

But he says there are still those who don't.

"Plus minus 18,000 pedestrians are crossing and using the N2 freeways on a daily basis."

Community safety MEC Dan Plato, transport and Public Works MEC Donald Grant, acting provincial police commissioner Thembisile Phatekile have all addressed the media here on plans to make the N2 safer.

Meanwhile, Patekile says over a dozen people have been arrested for crimes committed along the N2 highway.

He says a priority committee established in May to combat crimes on the highway has already shown success.

Patekile says this month two people were handed 12 year sentences for robbing stationary motorists.

"Fifteen people have already been arrested since September for nine cases of robberies and we are confident we will secure convictions in court."

Sanral says it spends approximately R250,000 per month repairing vandalised fences on the N2.

A priority committee formed in May says the section of N2, which is of particular concern, stretches approximately 26 kilometres between Jakes Gerwel Drive and the Firgrove off-ramp.

The priority committee has revealed research it's collected around safety on and along the N2 Highway since 22 May.

Sanral's Randall Cable says a major concern on the N2 is vandalism.

"We are investigating and experimenting with the different types of fencing. The engineering solution is only part of the solution we have to look at the underlying issue."

Cable says pedestrians often have a genuine need to walk along or across freeways and there's a need to provide infrastructure for that.