Philip Hull, Petro Kruger and Wendy Watson
To partner with private and public sector in an effort to reduce crashes and the resulting injuries and fatalities on South African roads by implementing specific and measurable education and awareness programmes.
Reasons for the establishment of the Road Safety Foundation:
- Create a neutral platform for the discussion, development and implementation of real, sustainable and quantifiable dedicated road safety projects.
- Create an opportunity for all interested parties, from both private and public sector, to network relevant thoughts, issues and ideas that will contribute to the promotion of road safety activities.
- To identify and prioritise road safety issues and develop projects to address these issues.
- To encourage healthy debate around issues concerning road safety in South Africa.
- To work with existing road safety entities (Arrive Alive, CARS, Drive Alive, GRSP, SADD, etc) to increase the impact of road safety activities.
- To develop road safety projects that could potentially be implemented at a later stage in other countries in Africa.
- To introduce individual corporates to the issues surrounding road safety, and thereby promote awareness amongst their own employees, and actively promote communication between themselves and The Road Safety Foundation.
- Partner with international road safety role players in order to bring research and experience to South Africa.
South Africa – The facts
· 15 393 fatalities in 2006 - up 8,9% from 2005
· 42% pedestrian fatality rate in 2006
· Approximately 800 000 crashes per year
· 3rd worst in the world per capita
· 22 people permanently disabled per day
· 2nd highest cause of accidental death in 0 – 18 year age group
· Estimated cost to the country – R47 billion
· Increased rate of mobilisation – 1 500 vehicles added per day
· Seatbelt utilisation –
- under 20% for drivers
- under 12% for front passengers
- approximately 2% for rear passengers
The challenge facing the road safety industry is enormous. There are no quick solutions and it will take long term, focused and sustainable activity to change the road safety situation in our country. It requires cooperation between educators, policy makers, law enforcers and engineers.
According to UNICEF road crashes are the second cause of fatalities in the under-18 age group. Road safety education and awareness programmes aimed at our youth – at all levels of schooling - should be a priority, such as increasing the visibility of learners through reflective backpacks and belts. The education of teachers and parents is also essential – too many children are transported without the use of a child restraint or seatbelt. Consequently a large proportion of the efforts of The Road Safety Foundation is be aimed at this vital area. Where a project will require the resource of multiple partners The Road Safety Foundation coordinates the cooperation between the role-players to maximize the impact of the project.
Employees are arguably a company’s biggest asset, and injury to either the employee and/or their family would undoubtedly have a negative impact on the company.
This is a joint effort between The Road Safety Foundation and various companies and other entities and a healthy debate on the issues around road safety is essential to change the mindset of the South African road user.
If our efforts save the life of even one person our hard work has been worthwhile.