Following the just concluded general election in Nigeria, certain groups and political parties are beating the drums of protest. Historically, during protests, motorists are more vulnerable, especially, when it is hijacked by hoodlums. What happened during the ENDSARS protest still remains fresh in the memory of many affected motorists.
Similarly, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), last week, announced a plan to embark on ‘national lockdown’ for South Africa, calling for the resignation of President Cyril Ramaphosa and an end to load shedding among a number of other issues.
Towards the implementation date, Monday 20th March, concerns were raised for safety of motorists across the country.
Therefore, whenever and wherever protests occur, be it in Nigeria, South Africa or any part of the world, motorists need to be safety conscious as well as follow six essential safety tips to ideally avoid the unrest all together or, failing that, know how to keep as safe as possible on the roads:
- Stay at home. Arrange to work from home if you are able to.
- Keep your vehicles fuel tanks topped up – fuel stations may be affected or closed for the day.
- Plan your routes well in advance and try to not travel alone, particularly if you are a vulnerable citizen.
- Keep track of developments on the ground and of possible flare-ups in and around your area or on your route of travel with the use of the news, social media and information from trustworthy friends and colleagues. Steer clear of any routes that may pass through potential hotspots – plan to leave with some ‘buffer’ time to account for potential delays.
- If you are on the road, look ahead for or anticipate traffic congestion or crowds along your route (also make use of navigation apps).Do not be afraid to stop and evaluate options – turn around if needed.
- Do not stay boxed in during traffic: ideally try to safely move out of the congestion. But if you cannot, at least maintain a safe distance between yourself and the other vehicles.
The foregoing tips were provided by South Africa-based MasterDrive and edited by Matilda Frances, Motoring World’s Editorial Director.
MasterDrive is a results-driven, driver training organisation that engages with and assists companies in managing driver risk interventions.
Established in 1999 and became part of the RAC Group (established in 1997) some 9 years later – in 2008, the company 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.
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