With an estimated road traffic death rate of approximately 25 per 100,000 people, there is no question that road safety is an issue that needs to be prioritised in South Africa – and needs to be tackled on a variety of fronts.
SANRAL recognises how important it is that South Africa’s citizens prioritise their personal safety, to make sure they come home at the end of the day. The agency recently launched a new road safety awareness campaign focusing on the power of the individual to take their life and future into their own hands, by doing that ‘one thing’ that could save their life.
The campaign aims to empower the individual. The core message is to remind road users to ‘take care of number one’, so that you can be there for your family, your community and your future.
Don’t have that ‘one for the road’, don’t be distracted ‘for one second’, don’t choose not to buckle up ‘just this once’ – because you only have one life.
This is not aimed solely at motorists, but at all types of road users. For example, when cycling, the one rule is ‘to be seen is to be safe’, especially at night. Wearing a reflective jacket, bright clothes and a helmet can help you to attract the attention of drivers, from the front, rear and sides.
Then there are pedestrians, who make up many of the road fatalities each year. The tagline on the related advert in the campaign is ‘One wrong move can be deadly’.
SANRAL is always erecting vandal-proof fences along vulnerable sections of our highways, in an attempt to stop pedestrians from running across the freeway. Walking to an overhead bridge may take a bit longer, but it could be a decision that makes the difference between life and death
Another single vital decision is to buckle up our seatbelts before we set off in the car: one click can save your life.
Then there is the issue of speed. When driving at higher speed, the driver needs a faster reaction time if anything remiss happens – and this is even more pertinent when the roads are wet. One second slower can avoid a crash.
Mobile devices are never out of the equation, and walking and texting is just as dangerous as texting and driving. Your eyes are glued to the screen, taking your focus away from the traffic around you. One text can change your life forever. Keep your phone in your handbag or pocket until you get to your destination.
Likewise, one call can end it all. SANRAL’s campaign focuses on taxi drivers, urging them not to use a mobile phone while driving, which can result in a range of fatal errors that impact the lives of many. Of course, this applies to all drivers. Turn your mobile off and keep your attention on the road.
Just one good decision on your part can help to make sure that we all get home safe and sound.