Sashes to make SA’s pedestrians visible
THE Automobile Association (AA), in collaboration with the FIA, Ford and Michelin, launched a national road safety campaign yesterday.
Known as the #ISeeYou campaign, the programme aims to make pedestrians more visible.
This after pedestrian fatalities on South African roads last year made up more than a third of the total road deaths.
Statistics from the Road Management Corporation (RTMC) show 5 410 pedestrians died on our roads in 2016. This represents a shocking 38% of all deaths on the country’s roads last year, making pedestrians, by far, the most vulnerable group of road users.
The #ISeeYou message goes deeper than pedestrian visibility, its dual purpose is also to drive mutual respect between motorists and pedestrians.
“One of the key dangers for pedestrians is that they are seen too late by drivers. On dimly or unlit roads, and wearing dark clothes, pedestrians are often ‘invisible’ to motorists who may only see them when it’s too late to avoid hitting them. It’s a serious problem in South Africa, one which we hope this campaign will begin to address,” says the AA.
The campaign includes print, radio and television advertisements highlighting the dangers pedestrians face while on the road. It encourages pedestrians to make themselves more visible through walking in better lit areas, and wearing clothing that stands out. Motorists, too, are encouraged to be aware of pedestrians while driving.
“Pedestrian safety remains one of the most important challenges to road safety authorities in South Africa. We are proud to partner with the AA on the visibility campaign, and we would like to work together with communities to reduce pedestrian fatalities and make our roads safer for all,” says Casper Kruger, managing director of Ford Motor Company SubSaharan Africa region.
Ganganjot Singh, commercial director for Michelin, said the group has been funding various road safety awareness and education projects.
Statistics show pedestrians are particularly vulnerable at dawn and dusk, or when visibility is impaired because of smoke, dust or mist.
A critical component of the campaign is urging pedestrians to wear reflective sashes that are easier for drivers to see. As part of the initial phase of the campaign, 14 000 sashes will be distributed to pedestrians through activations across the country. The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) funding was made possible through its Road Safety Grant Programme.