17 April 2014
As many South Africans prepare to head off to holiday destinations for the Easter long weekend, the SA National Roads Agency’s Elna Fourie offers a few tips on how to get there – and back – safely.
Speaking to SAnews on Thursday, Fourie said that drivers and passengers should wear their seat belts at all times to minimise the risk of injuries and death in case of an accident.
To drivers she said: “Avoid all the things that will distract you while driving, such as using a cell phone. If the speed limit is 120 kilometres an hour, you must know that it is not a suggestion, it’s the law.
“What most drivers don’t realise is that our roads are not designed for speeding, so those who transgress our road rules by driving 160km/h should know that they will be putting themselves and other road users in danger.”
Fourie said pedestrians should wear clothes that make it easy for drivers to see them at all time. They should also walk facing the direction of oncoming vehicles.
“Always face oncoming traffic. Don’t walk with your back to traffic because you need to see what is coming so that you can prepare yourself.
“Those who use public transport, such as buses and taxis, should check if such modes of transport are roadworthy or not. Once inside, they should wear seatbelts.
“When passengers alight from public transport, they must check out for other vehicles before crossing the roads or street. When you get out of a bus or taxi, look out for other vehicles, cyclists and other pedestrians”.
Fourie also urged drivers of light vehicles to encourage their passengers to wear their seatbelts as well.
“Those who will be embarking on long-distance trips must rest after every two hours. Plan your route and make sure your car is roadworthy. The most important thing is to stop and rest.
“When driving in rainy conditions, please reduce your speed and make sure you have very clear visibility by keeping your headlights on.”
Following the rules of the road, Fourie said, was the best gift you could give yourself and your loved ones.
“Remember there is someone who loves you. They want to see you again, and you need to arrive safely.”