Fire awareness campaign begins
The Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) has partnered with Working on Fire (WOF) to raise awareness during December 2016 about the dangers of fire. DTPW’s cigarette butt campaign appeals to smokers to never throw their cigarette butts out of vehicle windows.
The first of four awareness activities took place at the BP Garage in Grabouw on 2 December 2016. On the day, DTPW road safety officers and road safety mascot Danny Cat interacted with motorists about road safety and handed out marketing material in support of the cigarette butt campaign.
The hot, dry and windy weather conditions that the Western Cape experiences during summer dramatically increase the risk of fire. A single burning butt can wreak havoc on people’s lives and cause significant economic damage. Offenders could face a fine of R500. They may even be held liable for damages caused by a fire.
Provincial Traffic Chief Kenny Africa says fires near roads place additional strain on the ability of Provincial Traffic Services to render services and can damage road infrastructure. “Smoke haze reduces visibility, dramatically increasing the risk of crashes, particularly on highways where motorists typically travel at high speeds. Traffic officers and other emergency personnel are often called to attend to fires that could have been avoided. Please, never throw cigarette butts out of car windows. Always make use of your vehicle’s ashtray,” he said.
We all have a role to play in preventing fires and keeping our roads safe. Provincial traffic officers keep road users safe by warning motorists of fires, closing roads when necessary, and redirecting traffic. If you smoke, always dispose of your cigarette butts safely. Never throw a butt out of a vehicle window. If you see somebody throwing a butt out of a vehicle window, you can report it by contacting the Traffic Management Centre on 021 812 4581.
Similar activities will take place between 09:00 and 13:00 at the Engen Garage, False Bay (9 December), Engen Garage, Darling (14 December) and Engen Garage, Winelands N1 (15 December).