The focus this year is on encouraging road users not to text or use their cellphones while driving.
According to Guillaume Olivier, SHEQ manager at Unitrans, cellphone use while driving is the cause of one in every four road accidents.
“Studies have shown that cellphone use reduces parietal lobe activity (the part of the brain responsible for effective driving) by up to 37%,” he says. Despite this, more than two-thirds of motorists make calls while driving.
Cellphone use makes a significant contribution to the number of accidents on our roads, which costs the South African economy between R40 billion and R76 billion annually.
“The trauma of losing a father, mother, husband, wife, child or family member is impossible to quantify and can affect the lives of loved ones for decades,” he adds.
The Road Safety Angel campaign was started by Unitrans three years ago along the N4 route and has gained the support of several partners including MiX Telematics, DriveRisk, Scania, Van Wettens and GRW.
The campaign’s road safety teams will gather pledges at the following six venues across the country on 15 December:
- Total Petroport N3 Highway, Heidelberg West
- Shell Ultra City N4 Highway, Middelburg
- Shell Retail Service Station Gateway, Nelspruit
- Caltex Service Station V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
- Shell Ultra City N3 Highway, Estcourt North
- Engen 1Stop N4, Belfast
“We are asking all motorists to commit to not using their cellphones while driving, to drive safely and patiently and in doing so contribute to making our roads safer.
“Last year Road Safety Angels secured 1 400 pledges from across the country – this year we hope to double that figure to at least 3 000 pledges.
“We are passionate about encouraging good driving behaviour and promoting road safety awareness to reduce the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities on our roads.
“The Road Safety Angels encourage all motorists to take the pledge for a safer festive season on all our roads,” says Olivier.