by Staff Reporter on 08/08/11 at 8:45 am
A lack of good road manners and inconsiderate drivers strike a serious cord with South Africans, and cause untold frustration on our roads. In an effort to highlight and curb hazardous and aggressive driving, Europcar has launched “Charm School for Drivers” – a fun but firm course in good manners and charming etiquette behind the wheel.
Zavi Stein, general marketing manager of Europcar South Africa says, “Negligent, careless driving increases frustration and aggression on our already busy roads and affects the safety of road users, and this is a major concern. With this campaign we hope to make people think about their driving etiquette and be more courteous and considerate on the roads.”
Most fatal accidents due to human factors
According to the most recent Road Traffic Report compiled by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), there are four main factors that cause accidents, namely human, vehicle, roadway and the environment. A massive 82.85% of fatal accidents were attributed to the human factor, which includes unsafe and illegal overtaking manoeuvres or lane changes, poor judgement, fatigue, excessive speed, disobeying traffic signs and signals, driving under the influence of alcohol, and general recklessness and negligence.
“We as South Africans have a responsibility to make our roads a safer and friendlier place. If all drivers abide by the rules of the road, avoid taking risks, and practice small courteous gestures, such as giving way to fellow drivers, saying thank you with a smile or a wave, and acknowledging fellow drivers with friendly eye-contact, the roads will be a more harmonious place.
Lack of public transport and transport systems to blame
“Busy roads and rush hour traffic is here to stay, especially in a country that hasn’t bought in to flexi working hours, where public transport systems are only now being established but will take some time to roll out, and where car pooling is not yet a popular trend. Drivers should accept this graciously and treat other commuters with respect and courtesy. It is possible to reduce stress and frustration on the roads, but it takes united action from all South Africans,” says Stein.
Leading up to the “Charm School for Drivers” event happening in Johannesburg on 13 August 2011, South Africans are invited to nominate a friend or family member, who could benefit from a refresher course in driving etiquette. The five winning candidates chosen to attend the course will each win a free luxury chauffeur for a day, and their nominators will each win a 2-day weekend car rental.
To follow the campaign, send in your nomination, or download our handy road etiquette guide, visit our Charm School tab on Europcar’s Facebook page.
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