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Road Fatality on the Rise, As South Africa Marks Transport Month

Contrary to expectation, road crash fatality in South Africa is on the rise, as the country marks Transport Month, starting from October.

The revelation was made by the CEO of the South Africa-based MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, in a statement released on Monday.

According to him, as the country starts to return to a semblance of normalcy after the lockdown, the road fatality rates returned to their high statistics as well, despite the fact that not all companies resumed work from the office but continued remote operations.

He stated: “While a continued slump in road fatality rates could be anticipated at the start, this was not to continue. Research conducted internationally during lockdown attributed this to an increase in reckless driving on roads with less traffic and to people being more likely to use their phones whilst driving because of the greater reliance on cell phones that developed during lockdown.

To this end, as South Africa returns to the swing of things, Herbert reminded drivers of the importance of sticking to some vital road safety tip that he believes may have been forgotten.

“South Africa,” he pointed out, “did see a decrease in its road fatality statistics, particularly over notoriously deadly periods like the festive season, but it is likely the country also saw the many impacts countries all over the world did and, possibly even, at a higher number.

“Consequently, the time is right to initiate road safety campaigns again during Transport Month. As traffic volumes begin to increase and drivers return to the road with bad habits, it has never been so important to spread the road safety awareness message – and continue to do so up to and throughout the festive season. We do not want to be in a situation where we not only return to pre-pandemic statistics but even higher.”

He revealed that his organization, MasterDrive, will again be adding their voice to this month with a brand-new initiative. “We are launching ‘Driving the Influence’ and this year we will be bringing attention and awareness to driving under the influence. It will feature the popular panel discussion with industry role-players as well as a number of speakers that will look at the topic from various perspectives.”

A highly regarded executive in the UK police, Yvonne Taylor, the Chief Inspector at the National Police Wellbeing Service, will be among those speakers. “Road safety is everyone’s business and it is vitally important that we learn and adapt from the experiences of others in order to reduce impaired driving” says Taylor.

As the country kicks off Transport Month, MasterDrive looks forward to leading the way in road safety messages this month.

“We will conclude the month on a high note with this latest MasterDrive adventure,” says Herbert.

MasterDrive is a results-driven, driver training organisation that engages with and assists companies in managing driver risk interventions.

The company was established in 1999 and became part of the RAC Group (established in 1997) some 9 years later – in 2008 – and has expanded its field of operation to cover the African continent with dedicated branches in SA’s three main centres.

To that end MasterDrive has a dedicated team of professional, internationally accredited instructors who deliver training on a range of programs that encompass the full spectrum of vehicles – from motorbikes to cars to busses and trucks.

In addition to delivering internationally proven defensive driving courses the company also offers training required by legislation – dangerous goods and forklift – bespoke courses are also available to corporates and emergency services, all with a view to changing and developing driver behaviour.

The company’s proven track record with a number of SA’s top 500 companies ensures that it is a viable operation providing a platform for rolling out its own BBBEE transformation program that contributes toward the wellbeing of all South Africans.

MasterDrive also boasts a proud record of supporting a number of NPO’s whose drive is to educate road users on safety and so enhance the profile of changing behaviour by whatever reasonable means it can promote and offer. These include, but are not limited to, Psychometric assessments, on-road assessments and corporate safety events.

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