Taking the I-Pledge for safer roads

11 November 2011

The Imperial I-Pledge road safety campaign, launched in Johannesburg on Tuesday, challenges South African motorists to help create a culture of safe, friendly road use in the country in the only way that works in the long run: by changing our own attitudes.

The campaign, launched within the company in July, and now extended to the South African public at large, encourages people to signal their commitment to road friendliness and safety by visiting www.ipledge.co.za and taking the I-Pledge.

With over 25 000 pledges taken among Imperial employees since July, the challenge is now open to all South Africans – be they motorists, bus and truck drivers, bikers, cyclists or pedestrians – to add their numbers, and voices, to the campaign.

People can also keep updated and help advocate for safer, friendlier roads by following @IPledgeZA on Twitter and the I-Pledge group on Facebook.

‘Road safety starts with every one of us’

“The essence of the campaign is that road safety starts with every one of us,” Tak Hiemstra, Imperial’s executive director for strategic development, said in a statement.

“As a group, we started with ourselves by encouraging our employees to personally pledge their commitment to better behaviour on the roads. It made a real difference in our attitudes. We are now driving the campaign to the South African public to change their behaviour as well.”

Speaking at Tuesday’s launch, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said that road crashes in South African resulted in at least 40 deaths every day, 1 000 deaths every month and about 14 000 a year, costing the country in the region of R60-billion annually.

‘Not just the responsibility of law enforcement’

Making the country’s roads safer was not just the responsibility of law enforcement, but the collective responsibility of everyone in society, Ndebele said. More specifically, road safety campaigns would only succeed when road users changed their attitude towards the rules of the road.

The I-Pledge campaign also encourages companies – especially those with company fleets – to implement stringent road safety policies to improve compliance to basic rules such as the wearing of seatbelts and not using mobile phones when driving.

“Companies such as Imperial Holdings have taken an important step towards helping change the attitude that government alone must stop the carnage on our roads,” Ndebele said. “Imperial and other such companies represent the broadening of the movement for road safety.

“I urge the entire private sector to adopt Imperial’s commitment to prioritise road safety in the workplace.”

SAinfo reporter and BuaNews