Why do road safety interventions in South Africa fail? Using historical and cultural perspectives to solve a public health dilemma


  • Dr Rebekah Lee

    Goldsmiths, University of London

Project summary

This project proposes to explore, and critically interrogate, an epidemiological turn evident in post-apartheid South African road safety interventions. Historical and cultural approaches can transform our understanding of the road accident epidemic in South Africa, and of the limitations of current public health campaigns to address it. The project aims to construct a broader historical account of how black South Africans have used, and related to, the road from the early 20th century to the present day. It will also explore popular and localised forms of road safety, including the use of rumour, social media and music, asking how far these differ from public health initiatives. The project will refine its conceptual and empirical ambitions by investigating available archives and lines of research, testing out experimental methodology and locating Africa-based researchers.