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With more than 14 000 peo­ple killed on our roads on ev­ery year, short- term in­surer San­tam has launched its Le­gal Road­side Sup­port ser­vice to help clients mit­i­gate the le­gal risks that arise as a con­se­quence of be­ing a mo­torist on the road. This of­fer­ing is part of San­tam’s new per­sonal le­gal in­sur­ance. Ac­cord­ing to stag­ger­ing fig­ures re­leased by the South African Depart­ment of Trans­port, more than 40 lives are lost on a daily ba­sis. Ap­prox­i­mately 85 per cent of fa­tal road ac­ci­dents in South Africa can be blamed on hu­man er­ror as op­posed to ve­hi­cle or road fac­tors. “The re­al­ity of in­creased law en­force­ment on our roads is that peo­ple could eas­ily find them­selves in sit­u­a­tions where they face the pos­si­bil­ity of be­ing ar­rested on the spot for a crim­i­nal of­fence they did not con­sider se­ri­ous enough,” says Joseph Mak­gopa, head of cor­po­rate le­gal ser­vices at San­tam. Crim­i­nal of­fences, in ad­di­tion to drunk driv­ing or ex­ces­sive speed­ing, in­clude un­paid traf­fic fines and driv­ing a ve­hi­cle that’s not road­wor­thy. Mak­gopa says that without a lawyer im­me­di­ately avail­able, driv­ers face the pos­si­bil­ity of be­ing ar­rested for traf­fic rule vi­o­la­tions. “Le­gal Road­side Sup­port is our in­no­va­tive panic alert ap­pli­ca­tion, which clients can make use of when they are pulled over by a law en­force­ment of­fi­cer and are about to be ar­rested,” he adds. By sim­ply press­ing the pre- saved Le­gal Road­side Sup­port num­ber on their phone, the San­tam 24/ 7 call cen­tre will track their lo­ca­tion through GPS tech­nol­ogy, and pro­vide rapid re­sponse by dis­patch­ing a lawyer to the scene or po­lice sta­tion to ren­der le­gal ser­vices. Hav­ing a per­sonal lawyer avail­able 24/ 7 can be very ex­pen­sive, but at an af­ford­able pre­mium of R10 per month, San­tam pro­vides ac­cess to Le­gal Road­side Sup­port with cover for R10 000 in le­gal ex­penses and a max­i­mum of five claims per an­num. “Le­gal in­sur­ance of­fers peace of mind, know­ing that you are cov­ered for risks as­so­ci­ated with costs of lit­i­ga­tion. The cover will make sure that driv­ers have ac­cess to le­gal ad­vice and ex­pe­ri­enced le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion in a time of need,” says Mak­gopa.

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