In a move to boost road safety awareness ahead of the festive season, industry partners – Unitrans, MiX Telematics, Scania, GRW, Van Wettens and DriveRisk – today announced the Road Safety Angel initiative. Together, these companies have committed to being the leaders of change, in an effort to reduce vehicle accidents and fatalities during the month of December. It was reported that during the 2015/2016 holiday period, 1 755 people lost their lives on our roads – an 11% increase from 2014 – thus demonstrating the dire need for creating partnerships such as these to curb road accidents and fatalities. The campaign aims to create road safety awareness amongst all motorists, including the general public and fleet operators, by encouraging all road users to take the road safety pledge online.
The focus for this year's campaign is to "put an end to distracted driving" which, according to the United Nations, is a leading global killer. Drivers need to be aware of the dangers of driving while texting, calling, or not paying full attention whilst driving. South Africa has one of the highest road accident rates in the world, with around 25% of those accidents caused by cell phone use while driving. Cellphone usage while driving is illegal and has a real and calculable effect on the driver, resulting in a 37% decrease in parietal lobe activity in the brain, making them more likely to be involved in a road traffic accident.
"With the Road Safety Angel campaign, Unitrans wants to engage the community and help change unsafe behaviour on the roads," says Guillaume Olivier, SHEQ Manager at Unitrans Supply Chain Solutions. "We would like to encourage everyone to take extra caution on the roads over the festive season, with the expected increase in road users over this period."[Full Story.]