Safely Home's Cell-Phone and Seatbelt Focus is Paying Off Says MEC Max
An intensified Back-to-Basics focus on road safety by provincial and city authorities over the last three months has seen thousands of motorists fined for talking on cell-phones while driving and for not wearing their seatbelts.
The initiative was launched under the banner of the Safely Home Campaign at the beginning of March this year and forms part of integrated special traffic law enforcement operations to halve the number of road deaths in the province by 2014.
Western Cape Community Safety MEC, Lennit Max, today announced that over the last three months a total of two thousand nine hundred and twenty five (2 925) drivers have been fined for holding their phones while driving, and another fourteen thousand six hundred and sixty (14 660) for not buckling up.
"Clearly many people still regard talking on the phone while driving as just a minor offence, but studies have shown that you are four (4) times more likely to crash and that it's the equivalent of driving while drunk. You are putting yourself and others at risk when you do this and the same goes for not wearing a seatbelt. Refusing to buckle up puts the life of the driver, in many cases the lives of fellow passengers, other road users and pedestrians at risk and we will not tolerate this reckless behaviour," says Max.
The MEC and traffic officials today demonstrated the importance of wearing a seatbelt. The Safely Home Seatbelt Convincer was used to show the public the impact of a crash at eight kilometres an hour (8 km/h).
"The demonstration is done at eight kilometres per hour (8 km/h) so you can only imagine the impact at eighty (80) or hundred and twenty kilometres per hour (120 km/h)! It proves that buckling up reduces the risk of head injuries and of being ejected out of a vehicle in the event of a crash and this Safely Home message must be ingrained in the minds of motorists," says Max.
A recent study by the Automobile Association (AA) showed that the average rate in South Africa for all occupants wearing seatbelts is only fifty six percent (56%).
"It's been confirmed time and time again that human negligence is the biggest culprit in road fatalities on our Provincial roads. Evidently it's necessary to force motorists to act responsibly, but we will do whatever it takes to change their foolish behaviour," says Max.
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Minister of Community Safety
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