n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Perceptions of road traffic injury causes and interventions in the Limpopo Province, South Africa : implications for prevention

Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



The aim of this study was to identify the local perceptions of road users with regard to the causes of and interventions in respect of traffic injuries involving different stakeholders in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. The sample included 18 professional drivers, 20 private drivers, 15 policy makers and law reinforcement officials, and 25 passengers and pedestrians chosen by convenience from the urban areas of Pietersburg and Mankweng. Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with key informants from each of the above groups were conducted. Qualitative data analysis found the following themes as perceived causes of and interventions in respect of road traffic injuries : (1) Legislation and enforcement (intervention suggestions included traffic laws need to be reinforced and applied fairly and indiscriminately); (2) Execessive speeding and overloading (interventions included more speed traps, heavier fines, presence of traffic officers on the road, special training for (taxi) drivers on reasonable and careful driving); (3) Road and substance use (such as testing and prosecution for drinking and driving that needs to be improved especially for drugs other than alcohol); (4) Irresponsible driving behaviour, disregard of traffic regulations, carelessness, and temporary distraction (interventions included harsh punishment in terms of fines and sentence, including suspension of driving licence, while pedestrians should also be penalised for disregarding road traffic signs and motorists); (5) Roadworthiness of vehicle (such as a road fitness test for taxis at least once 1-3 months); (6) Aging, disease and disability (introduce an age limit for driving, e.g. 60 years); (7) Fatigue and acute psychological stress (such as legislation that forces truck drivers only to drive for six hours, and training of how to manage emotions when making driving); (8) Cultural / religious factors (believers should practice their traditions); (9) Traffic signs / lights and road conditions (including the improvement of traffic signs and control of cattle); and (10) children as road users (teaching children about road safety in schools and in the village). The results are discussed with a view to road traffic injury prevention interventions in South Africa.

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