SANRAL GOES BEYOND ROAD SAFETY ENGINEERING THIS FESTIVE SEASON
Pretoria, 20 December 2021 – This festive season SANRAL has gone beyond its core mandate of engineering safer roads and is using its WHOA! road safety campaign to actively engage road users at various rest and service stations across the country.
Fatigue and drunken driving continue to be major contributing factors to crashes on our roads every year. To this end, SANRAL’s WHOA! campaign promotes regular breaks during long distance travel and discourages drinking and driving. Among the activities offered during these activations are head and shoulder massages for drivers and a flavoured oxygen bar, both of which aid tension relief.
The N3 between Gauteng and KZN is a particularly busy road with thousands of holiday makers heading to the beach. A road safety activation was set up at Vaal Engen 1 Stop on the N3 outside Villiers, on the Day of Reconciliation (December 16) public holiday, where the interaction with SANRAL was lauded by motorists who stopped to refuel and freshen up.
Benginkosi Mdlalose, a 60-year-old taxi driver operating between Johannesburg and Newcastle, welcomed SANRAL’s intervention: “I am very pleased with the condition of the N3 and I am happy about how SANRAL maintains the road,” he said.
He sat down for a massage and curiously tried the oxygen bar. “The peppermint flavoured oxygen is soothing and cleared my nasal passages. What a great way to relax before I tackling the rest of my journey. Thank you SANRAL for caring about our safety on the road,” said Mdlalose on his way back to his taxi.
In Graaff Reinet, a similar activation was set up at the Caltex Fresh Stop, where scores of holiday makers passed by and stopped for a break. Masibulele Tafeni, from Graaff-Reinet, said: ‘’The SANRAL road safety message is a good initiative to keep people safe on the road. SANRAL encourages people to rest, stay safe on the road and to obey the speed limit.”
Still in the Eastern Cape, the WHOA! team descended on Port Alfred on Sunday morning, waking up the town with music, and engagement at the Caltex Fresh Stop, at the entrance to the town. Curious passers-by stopped at the SANRAL zone. From taxi passengers to drivers, they were alive to SANRAL’s road safety message and applauded the activation, some even saying there should be more such activations all year round.
“While our core mandate is to engineer safer road infrastructure, we realise that roads are built first for people and then for vehicles. As such, it is important for us to engage these stakeholders about our collective responsibility to create safer road environments for all road users,” said Vusi Mona, SANRAL General Manager, Communications and Marketing.
The activation also targeted pedestrians, with promoters handing out reflective arm bands that aid in pedestrian visibility, particularly at night.
“We appreciate the efforts of law enforcement agencies across the country, who have increased their visibility to influence road user behaviour and create an environment that is conducive towards compliance. We continue to appeal to road users to be patient, courteous and compliant during this festive season. Safer roads are created by safety-conscious road users,” concluded Mona.