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Road users encouraged to take a pledge to road safety.

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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.”

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 e-mail account, which will assist in spreading the message about safe road usage even further.

Road users travelling along the major routes are encouraged to make a stop at any one of the below listed petrol stations on 15 December, in order to take the pledge. The official partners of the campaign will each be sponsoring spot prizes to road users who take the pledge on this day at one of the following venues:

* 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.

“By being part of this initiative, MiX Telematics, as a leading global provider of fleet and mobile asset management solutions, wants to drive awareness around responsible driving behaviour,” states Grant Fraser, Product and Marketing Director at MiX Telematics (Africa).

Fraser concludes: “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.”

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