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SMVAF News - Buhleni comes alive during road safety road show

1 December, 2014 - The small town of Buhleni, in the Hhohho region, came to life on Saturday November 22, when the Swaziland Road Safety Stakeholder Alliance hosted a road safety awareness roadshow under the theme 'Play your part, prevent road accidents', and was attended by close to 500 people. Translated as 'Dlala lichasa lakho, gwema ingoti', the theme spoke to the role people were expected to play towards the reduction of road accidents in the country.

In her keynote address, the Minister for Public Works and Transport, Lindiwe Dlamini said motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists had an obligation to ensure that the country's roads were safe. "Today we can all attest to the reality that road safety is one of the links to development. That is why we have to embrace road safety education so as to guarantee the improvement of places like Buhleni, and indeed the whole country," said minister Dlamini. The minister said she acknowledged the fact that the Mafutseni - Msahweni Road (MR5) had brought about significant increase in traffic flow, hence the hypothesis; the higher the traffic flow, the higher the accidents. However, the minister said improvement in road infrastructure resulted in the increase in road accidents. "This has prompted us to enforce speed calming measures like the installation of speed humps, increasing road signage, and mounting speed traps," said the minister. She lauded the Royal Swaziland Police and the Road Safety Council for their perseverance in this effort.

Meanwhile, road accident statistics for the year 2014 reflect an increase in road accidents involving pedestrians around the country. In response to these, the minister announced that the alliance has crafted the following road safety tips: - Focus your attention on the road - Pedestrians should walk on the right side of the road so that motorists can easily them - Only cross the road at designated crossing areas - Don't let the children play, walk, or attempt to cross the road on their own - No drinking and walking next to the road - Remember to wear bright material if you walk along the road at night-time

The minister implored all Buhleni road users to ensure that they are safe over the festive holidays. "As part of the Christmas road safety message, it is imperative that we emphasize on the safety of public service vehicles. I call upon public service vehicle operators to support this road safety campaign by monitoring the industry closely and to ensure that compliance with the regulations of the road prevails'" said minister Dlamini. The minister went on to lament the worsening situation of stray animals roaming the country's roads. "This is a deplorable situation that needs to be rectified immediately. Farmers continue to neglect their livestock, especially along the road reserves. I wish to reiterate that the removal of livestock from the roads is our responsibility, save lives by driving these life threatening hazards away from the roads," she said.

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