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To mark October National Transport Month, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) in collaboration with Santam, South Africa’s largest short-term insurer, will undertake road safety awareness campaigns on 13th October at Mantsole Weighbridge in Limpopo and on the 27th of October in Sir Lowry’s Pass, Western Cape.
The two events are aimed at promoting road safety and creating greater awareness on the importance of truck driver wellbeing and the need to ensure that adequate steps are taken to keep drivers well rested and healthy to decrease unnecessary accidents, injuries and fatalities on South African roads.
The partnership, now in its fifth year, is a collaborative effort with other stakeholders such as Law Enforcement, the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI) to raise awareness around truck driver wellness and safety on our roads. According to a recent study conducted by the RTMC, the main cause of fatal crashes involving trucks are: dangerous overtaking, disregarding Traffic lights/sign and making an illegal U turn, brake failure, fatigue, distracted driving, speeding and not keeping safe following distances, tyre bursts.
Law enforcement officers will inspect the trucks to ensure they are roadworthy and not overloaded. Over and above free medical examinations from the NBCRFLI, truck drivers will receive exciting gifts from Santam containing healthy snacks and Santam-branded promotional items.
Anton Cornelissen, head of Heavy Haulage at Santam, believes that road safety is everyone’s responsibility, not just the government.
“Truck drivers work under unique physically demanding conditions, putting them at increased risk of a range of chronic health conditions, including diabetes and hypertension. These conditions, coupled with fatigue, can negatively affect the reaction time and significantly increase the risk of road collisions”, said Anton Cornelissen.
“We encourage truck drivers to get plenty of rest and a minimum of six hours of sleep before a long drive. They should also not drive continuously for more than five hours and follow this up with a break of at least 15 minutes."
Cornelissen said as a leader in heavy haulage insurance, Santam encourages fleet operators to prioritise the health and wellness of truck drivers. And through the partnership with RMTC, they endeavor to highlight the importance of driver wellness and believe that a well-rested and healthy driver is a safe driver.
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