13 December 2017 – The annual road safety initiative is taking place again this year in an effort to boost road safety awareness ahead of the festive season. The initiative is supported by various industry players including Unitrans, MiX Telematics, United Motors (Mercedes Benz), Shell, Total and DriveRisk. The initiative is aimed at creating awareness around safe driving habits, in an effort to reduce vehicle accidents and fatalities over the month of December.
The road safety initiative, themed ‘Be Aware. Be Focused.’ aims at educating all road users about the risks of distracted driving. Through activities and engagement, the focus will be on:
- Educating road users about truck blind spots;
- Being aware of pedestrians;
- Understanding what a safe following distance is; and
- General safe driving practices.
Taking place at three locations nationally, road users will be exposed to a simulated driving experience. In addition, actual trucks will be used to demonstrate a truck driver’s perspective of the road in order to create awareness of a truck’s blind spots.
Road users travelling along the major routes are encouraged to stop at any one of the below listed fuel stations on 15 December, in order to take the pledge and participate in activities with some spot prizes being sponsored to participating road users:
- Mpumalanga – N4 Ultra City Middelburg Shell Ultra City (West)
- KwaZulu-Natal – Total Petroport Durban North (West)
- Western Cape – Shell Garage N1 Worchester
Unitrans believes this initiative helps to encourage responsible road usage, in an effort to change behaviours of both pedestrians and drivers by providing insightful road safety education.
Again, this year, road users are encouraged to take the Road Safety Pledge - a commitment to consistently abide by the rules of the road and responsible road safety behaviour – as well as encourage their friends and family to follow suit. Once road users have taken the pledge online, they can share it on their various social media platforms, as well as via their email account, which will assist in spreading the message about safe road usage even further.
“If we consider that during the 2016/2017 holiday period, a total of 1 714* fatalities were recorded - a 5% increase year-on-year – then there is no doubt that we need to come together as corporate South Africa and support government’s goals of reducing road related fatalities by educating South African road users to change their behaviour whilst on the road. I believe that it is only through constant education around driver and pedestrian behaviour – shifting attitudes and driving true understanding around the risks – that, as a country, we will start witnessing a real change,” says Grant Fraser, Commercial Director at MiX Telematics (Africa).