SA joins world safety awareness campaign

In May this year, South Africa joined the first Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and JCDecaux worldwide outdoor communication campaign dedicated to road safety.

“Every day, 3 500 people die in car crashes worldwide, which means 1.25 million every year,” states a JCDecaux press release. “[This is] a particularly alarming situation for 15-29 year-olds for whom traffic-related fatalities are the first cause of mortality.”

Billboards displaying various messages have been put up all over South Africa. The campaign was launched in Paris by FIA president Jean Todt and co-CEO of JCDecaux, Jean-Charles Decaux, on 10 March.

“Sign up, stay safe, save lives”

The campaign tagline, “Sign up, stay safe, save lives”, conveys the message that everyone must play their part to keep roads safer for all users. Members of the public are invited to sign a 10-point manifesto, which calls on all governments to make road safety a priority and to introduce effective legislation for key risk factors on the road. The manifesto is available here.

The local campaign

In South Africa, 13 500 people die on the country’s roads annually, or 36 daily – this is one of the highest traffic death rates in the world. The local campaign has been split in two: “Stay Bright”, which emphasizes pedestrian safety, and the simultaneous “Don’t Text and Drive” initiative. In a country where pedestrians form 40% of annual road fatalities, the need for safety awareness is clear. The “Stay Bright” campaign encourages pedestrians to make themselves visible to drivers at all times.

The campaign boasts such famous sports ambassadors as Wayde van Niekerk, Yohan Blake, Haile Gebrselassie, Antoine Griezmann, Vanessa Low and Rafael Nadal. It also features Formula 1 drivers Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, reigning champion Nico Rosberg and MotoGP champion Marc Marquez. Singer Pharrell Williams and actress Michelle Yeoh have also added their names to the list.

The #3500LIVES 10 “Golden Rules” for safer motoring:

Obey the speed limit

Never drink and drive

Use a child safety seat

Always pay attention

Buckle up

Don’t text and drive

Stop when you’re tired

Wear a helmet

Check your tyres

Stay bright

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