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By Charndré Emma Kippie

 

As the saying goes: Slow and steady wins the race – which is exactly what the Transport Education Training Authority hopes to emphasise this season.

 

It’s that time of year where, unfortunately, there is an upward surge in incidents of road accidents and consequential deaths. As businesses shut down for the festive season, closing for the year and getting ready for a well-deserved holiday, many families embark on summer holiday adventures. The sad reality, though, is that every year we experience so many road fatalities during this period. 

 

The launch of the Phepha Campaign

As a result of previous annual road accident trends, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, has seen the launch of the Phepha Campaign (which loosely translates to ‘be safe’ in isiZulu), at the Wanderers taxi rank, in early December. 

This particular road safety campaign is geared towards keeping citizens aware and fully conscious of road safety as many travel to destinations across the country.

Maphefo Anno-Frempong, the current CEO of the Transport Education Training Authority, commented on the Phepha campaign, stating that it was one multiple road safety campaign being embarked on throughout 2021, in order to highlight and encourage all-round safety amongst drivers (and even passengers). 

“We have initiated the Phepha campaign specifically to target road users during the busy festive season, when many people are travelling in and out of Gauteng”, Anno-Frempong said. 

“Furthermore, we want to encourage road users who will be celebrating their year-end festivities to make simple changes in their behaviour on the roads so that they enjoy celebrations safely.”

“We enquired why deaths on the road seem to reach a pinnacle over this period – is it because of congestion on the roads, or perhaps people are more focused on getting to where they are headed in a rush and forgoing safe road usage”, said  Anno-Frempong. 

“We will be rolling out a series of Phepha activations during December, January and February. During the activations, our promotions team will be informing people about road safety while injecting a bit of fun into the experience. These activations will take place at taxi ranks, malls and other similar locations in Gauteng.”

 

Targeting commuters 

The Wanderers taxi rank was selected as the best launch location for the campaign as many locals use this form of transportation, whether it be for going to work and school early in the morning, or travelling for short (and longer) periods of time via taxi. 

“We chose the taxi rank because we wanted to reach the high volume of commuters that you find at a taxi rank, especially in the early morning, when people are going to work and school,” Anno-Frempong explained.

“Taxi ranks offer a captive audience of commuters and taxi drivers who are travelling for short and long distances across our country.”

COVID-19 also presents additional challenges for road safety initiatives, which this particular campaign hopes to highlight. 

The launch was attended by local actors such as Hamilton Dlamini, Lebohang Lettie Myanana and Mduduzi Mabaso, who acted as ambassadors for the campaign’s success. 

At the end of the day, both drivers and pedestrians need to practice safer road safety protocols in South Africa. By eliminating bad habits such as texting and driving, or drinking under the influence for that matter, you can play your part in lowering the devastating statistics that hant our nation. 

 

Arrive Alive: Top 10 Road Safety Tips

  • Obey the rules of the road and carry your driver’s licence with you.
  • Plan the route to your holiday destination and allow yourself enough time to reach the destination.
  • Make sure that your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition before departure. All lights and indicators, windscreens, windscreen wipers, brakes, steering, shock absorbers, exhaust system and tyres should be carefully examined for faults.
  • Always wear your seat belt and see that everyone in the car is wearing theirs.
  • Try to avoid driving after dark if possible.
  • Take safety breaks every 2 hours or 200km. Rest, have an energy drink and continue once well-rested.
  • Do not drink and drive!
  • Try to recognise potentially dangerous drivers and pedestrians alongside the road and keep well clear of them.
  • Avoid distractions on the road such as texting, conversations on cellular phones etc.
  • Know your emergency numbers – keep a copy in your vehicle.  

*Visit https://www.arrivealive.co.za/ for more useful information and guidelines.

 

 

*Check out the latest edition of the Public Sector Leaders publication here.

For enquiries, regarding being profiled or showcased in the next edition of the Public Sector Leaders publication, please contact National Project Manager, Emlyn Dunn:

Telephone: 086 000 9590 |  Mobile: 072 126 3962 |  e-Mail: emlyn.dunn@topco.co.za