Archbishop Desmond Tutu famously said that "if you are neutral in situations of injustice then you have chosen the side of the oppressor." Saul Billingsley, executive director at the FIA Foundation, alluded to this on Wednesday when he said car makers "have to decide if they are on the side of the oppressors or the oppressed". Billingsley was referring to the idea that those unable to afford cars with adequate levels of safety are the oppressed, and the car companies that put profit before safety are the oppressors. "There are real inequalities in this road safety business," he says. "Manufacturers have the attitude that these people (those in poorer communities) don’t matter." Affordability is definitely being put ahead of safety — not only by some companies in the automotive industry but also by motorists themselves. In spite of heavy criticism around the world, Nissan sold 728 examples of its Datsun Go and Go+ in SA last month alone. Its equally unsafe sibling, built on the same ...

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