The need to improve road safety remains a global challenge particularly in developing regions. In fact, despite a relatively low vehicle population, underdeveloped and developing countries account for 90% of road transport related fatalities and injuries globally. To date, solutions implemented have not been effective enough given the high incidences and crashes that still frequently occur and sometimes with devastating effects showing that effective solutions remain elusive.
Various dimensions and approaches can be pursued and/or deployed towards addressing safety on the road network, particularly those focusing on road infrastructure, vehicular and human behaviour safety. However, what matters most is the impact that will be derived thereof towards addressing safety. This paper focuses on one of the dimensions: road user behaviour changing interventions towards improving road safety. The qualitative research method was applied towards the development of this paper. It was established that among many possible interventions that can be deployed to improve road safety in South Africa, road user behaviour changing interventions have a substantial impact on overall safety improvement. The major reason being that these interventions are proactive in nature, hence road users are capacitated to be able to take a proactive approach rather than being reactionary to possible incidences and crashes on the road.
However, the effectiveness of road user behaviour focused interventions has its own challenges that will need to be addressed. This paper identifies the challenges and opportunities that can be explored to improve road safety in South Africa focusing on pedestrians, passengers, drivers, transport companies or operators and regulatory authorities.
Paper presented at the 35th Annual Southern African Transport Conference 4-7 July 2016 "Transport ? a catalyst for socio-economic
growth and development opportunities to improve quality of life", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.