Brands unite against distracted driving

In a move to boost road safety awareness ahead of the festive season, industry partners – Unitrans, MiX Telematics, Scania, GRW, Van Wettens and DriveRisk – have announced the Road Safety Angel initiative. The companies have committed to being the leaders of change, in an effort to reduce vehicle accidents and fatalities during December.

The campaign aims to create road safety awareness among all motorists, including the general public and fleet operators, by encouraging all road users to take the road safety pledge online.

The focus is on putting an end to distracted driving which, according to the UN, is a leading global killer. Drivers need to be aware of the dangers of driving while texting, calling, or not paying full attention while driving.

South Africa has one of the highest road accident rates in the world, with around 25% of accidents caused by cellphone use while driving.

“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.”

By taking the Road Safety Pledge, motorists are making 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 use even further.

Road users travelling along the major routes may stop at various petrol stations on 15 December to take the pledge: 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 1 Stop N4 Highway, Belfast. Campaign partners will be sponsoring spot prizes to road users who take the pledge on this day at one of these venues.

“By being part of this initiative, MiX Telematics wants to drive awareness around responsible driving behaviour,” says Grant Fraser, product and marketing director at MiX Telematics (Africa). “It takes a collective effort from all role players within our society to reduce the number of road fatalities. Together, we want to create broader awareness among our communities in order to change the behaviour of drivers and save lives.”