The Frightening Cost of Car Accidents December 7, 2015 by Truth About RABS in Road Accident Benefit Scheme
In 2014, the Road Accident Fund paid out R22.2 billion, with up to R1.5 billion spent in a single month. These figures were released earlier this year by SABC, when deputy transport minister, Sindisiwe Chikunga, spoke at the launch of Road Safety Week.
Transport and Public Works MEC Donald Grant, has released statistics that reflect this exorbitant cost. In a recent release, he was quoted as saying, “The national Department of Transport estimates road trauma costs the South African economy R306 billion annually, which is eight percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.”
He further added, “In the period 1 December 2014 to 30 December 2014, we registered 924 fatal crashes with 1143 fatalities, while last year during the same period we registered 974 fatal crashes with 1168 fatalities. This demonstrates a reduction of 50 fatal crashes and 25 fatalities.”
These figures sound massive, and they are indeed huge. So huge in fact that the current RAF system has been unable to cope with the demands – especially due to a failing system that is grossly mismanaged.
Why We Need a Road Accident Fund That Works
Section 3 of the RAF Act states that, “the object of the Fund shall be the payment of compensation in accordance with this Act for loss or damage wrongfully caused by the driving of a motor vehicle.” With plans to bring in a new system that is no-fault, the costs to the economy are not expected to be reduced if the new system is introduced.
While the national costs to the economy are astronomical, costs to individuals are even more shocking. Depending on the nature of the injury, and the injured party’s ability to continue performing key functions, compensation varies fairly significantly. Often, it falls under the lowest spectrum of under R50, 000 in a single lump sum. For those who are already financially insecure, families losing a key breadwinner, single parent families and those injured severely enough to cease work indefinitely, even a higher compensation is seldom sufficient replacement for regular income.
As healthcare costs continue to rise, road accident statistics continue to give us a glimpse into the carnage on our roads each year. Proposed systems such as the new Road Accident Benefit Scheme, which is a no-fault system that treats all victims equally – regardless of fault – the cost of road accidents in South Africa may eventually become that few victims can afford to pay.
Change is needed, but not in the form of RABS. Learn more about the proposed changes to RAF and how it affects each and every person, visit www.truthaboutrabs.org and sign our petition to stop RABS in its tracks
Change is needed, but not in the form of RABS. Learn more about the proposed changes to RAF and how it affects each and every person, visit www.truthaboutrabs.org and sign our petition to stop RABS in its tracks.