9 August 2012

South Africa: North West Government Urges Big Companies to Promote Competent and Safer Heavy Vehicle Drivers

press release

North West Provincial Government has encouraged South African companies to promote competent and safe drivers of heavy vehicles who will reduce road crashes on the country's road.

Speaking on behalf of the North West Premier, Mme Thandi Modise at the welcoming ceremony of the world heavy vehicles drivers held at Sun City Resort on Wednesday, Human Settlement and Public Safety MEC, Nono Maloi said heavy vehicles drivers play a role on a number of road crashes on the South Africa's roads.

"Road crashes generally in the entire South Africa are serious cases of concern that must be addressed by everyone who is involved in the public transport sector.

I am very pleased that big companies are coming together in South Africa to contribute in any events that seeks to reduce road death in this country," he said.

Globally, there are death rate of over 1,3 million road accidents which makes road safety an urgent and priority for most governments around the world.

North West Province is the first province to host the 28th World Professional Driver's Championships not only in South Africa but in the entire African continent.

This year's world professional driver's championship occurs against the background of existing road safety campaigns and interventions by the South African Government, which include the United Nations decade of action for road safety.

The main goal of this world completion is to enhance the skills and the attitude of heavy vehicle professional drivers in South Africa and the world and to also improve the standards of heavy vehicle driving and ultimately reduce road crashes.

MEC Maloi mentioned that by hosting the heavy driver world championship, they want to create awareness and instill a culture of road safety in heavy motor vehicle drivers and to use the same platform to contribute to the broader road safety interventions in South African.

"This competition provides an ideal opportunity for the employer of the heavy vehicle drivers in South Africa to compare not only the ability of his own drivers with one another, but also with others in the same field internationally," he explained.

The United Nations generally assembly has proclaimed the period 2012/20 as the decade of action for road safety with a goal to stabilise and then reduce the forecast level of road traffic fatalities around the world by increasing activities conducted at the national, regional and global levels.

As a signatory to the UN, road safety collaboration, South Africa joined the global community when the decade of action for road safety was launched in 2011.

The focus of the campaign is to raise awareness and compel governments to commit themselves to the ambitious target or reduce crashes by 50% by the year 2020.

As the leading agency, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) is responsible for driving the campaign under the five pillars of the decade of action which are road safety management, safety road users, safer vehicles, safer roads and post-crash responses.

Acting Chief Executive Officer of RTMC, Collins Letsoalo also emphasised that heavy transport sector is a critical and integral part of the South African economy which makes safety a priority.

"The safe, affordable and accessible provision of transport is vital in ensuring that this important lifeblood sustains the growth and development of our young democracy.

Crashes involving heavy goods vehicles are costly in terms of loss of life, damage to property and reduced productivity," he cited.

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