Be alert and safe this festive season
The festive season is that time of the year when people go to visit family or go on holiday. It is a time when traffic volumes increase. This puts a lot of pressure on drivers, especially when they are rushing to reach their destinations.
Before embarking on a long trip, plan a rest stop in a safe place every 200 kilometres or every two hours of driving. Resting regularly and stretching your legs will help stop that creeping effect of fatigue that could reduce your ability to concentrate on the road. If you are on medication, find out whether it might make you drowsy. Every driver must always stay wide awake, sober, and alert. Do not get behind the wheel if you have had any alcohol or drugs.
Head-on collisions are a frequent occurrence during the festive season. Only overtake when you are 100% certain it is safe to do so. Never overtake on a white line, on a blind rise, or when there is oncoming traffic. Keep a safe following distance. If you can see the tyres of the car in front of you, you are following at a safe distance.
Observe the speed limit, and slow down when necessary. Speeding increases the risk and severity of a crash. The faster you drive, the less time you have to respond to emergencies.
Look out for children and adult pedestrians. Slow down when you notice pedestrians, especially in residential areas.
Pedestrians should always walk in safe places, such as sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing oncoming traffic. Only cross at designated places such as zebra crossings, stop signs, or at traffic lights. Wait for the green man to show before you cross. Wear bright and reflective clothes so that drivers can see you. If you plan to drink and then walk home, ask someone sober to walk home with you before you start to drink, or find another way to get home.
Road Safety Management will be conducting road safety awareness programmes throughout the festive season. These programmes are designed to create awareness and educate drivers, passengers, and pedestrians about safer ways to use and share the roads.
For more information, please contact Jennifer Solomons, Acting Director: Road Safety Management on tel. 021 483 6975 or email: Jennifer.Solomons@westerncape.gov.za.