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NewsTravel safely this Festive Season

Travel safely this Festive Season
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Travel safely this Festive Season if you are allowed to travel.

South Africans are fed up with staying at home. The (nearly) two years of restrictions have devastated the tourism industry in this country. It also pushed people to their limits. The worst of it is that no one knows how long this will still take and what future restrictions will be imposed on travelling etc.

It is expected that the President will have a family meeting tonight to discuss the new Omicron variant and the implications it will have on the December holiday season.

But, in the expectation that we may still travel, The Bulletin searched the internet for safety tips and would like to share some safety tips that we found for the road.

The Mining Safety website had the following for their fellow miners:

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  1. Obey the rules of the road and carry you drivers license with you
  2. Plan the route to your holiday destination and give yourself enough time to reach the destination
  3. Make sure that your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition before departure. All lights and indicators, windscreen wipers, brakes, steering, exhaust system and tyres should be carefully examined for faults.
  4. Do not overload.
  5. Try to avoid driving after dark if possible.
  6. Have a good rest before you embark on your journey
  7. Take safety breaks every 2 hours or 200km
  8. Do not drink and drive
  9. Try to recognize potentially dangerous drivers on and pedestrians alongside the road and keep well clear of them
  10. Be visible – drive with your lights on
  11. Headlights should be dipped well before an approaching vehicle is within range of the main beam.
  12. Always wear your seat belt and see that everyone in the car is wearing theirs.
  13. Drive defensively
  14. Stay within the speed limit at all times
  15. Only overtake when it is absolutely safe to do so
  16. Maintain at least a 2 second following distance – this distance should be increased at night, in foggy or rainy conditions and when the road is wet.
  17. Expect others not to be as obedient to the law as yourself
  18. Be courteous towards fellow road users – keep your temper and resist the temptation to retaliate
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In addition, the Automobile Association (AA) offers the following tips for travellers:

  1. Keep left, pass right. A simple rule which should be followed by all moving vehicles. It’s also courteous to drivers to make way for them if they are moving quicker than you. Driving too slow in a lane when there are faster vehicles behind is dangerous and could lead to road rage incidents. The correct approach is to allow faster vehicles to pass when it is safe to do so. Don’t police other drivers, leave that to the authorities.
  2. Take a detour, get off the beaten track, and explore our beautiful country. Make the journey part of your trip. For any accommodation needs visit qa.aatravel.co.za.
  3. Ensure everyone in the vehicle (yes, front and back) is buckled up.
  4. Drink or drive. If you are going to be doing one, don’t do the other, simple as that. It’s the same if you are walking: drink or walk.
  5. If you are walking, be visible at all times, especially at night, and at dawn or dusk, and in poorly lit areas.
  6. While on the road, take a breather every two hours or every 200kms; this will help you stay alert behind the wheel.
  7. If you’re a biker, or riding on a bicycle, wear a helmet and other necessary protective gear.
  8. Drive to the conditions of the road not necessarily to the indicated speed limit.
  9. Distracted driving is dangerous, and means you aren’t focussed on the road ahead. Put your cellphone in the boot and use it only in an emergency.
  10. Ensure your tyres (and spare) are in a good condition.
  11. Ensure your windscreen wipers (front and back) are in good condition. Even relatively new wiper blades may deteriorate quickly if left in the sun for long periods. Streaking, skipping, slipping or squeaking wipers are telling you they need attention. Don’t’ discover mid-way through your journey that they don’t work properly.
  12. Be prepared for any roadside, medical or security situation by downloading the AA RescueMe app (available on all platforms).
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There are several more sites available to look at such as Arrive Alive and even the government sites.

Some of the biggest problems that The Bulletin have identified through our reporting on accidents are:

  1. Driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances.
  2. Being impatient on the road.
  3. Taking chances with approaching vehicles.
  4. Not paying attention to road signs and markings and misinterpreting the situation.

Accidents in the Govan Mbeki Municipal area have been particularly horrifying due to the type of vehicles on the road. The covid lockdown and restrictions played a huge role in lessening the number of accidents.

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The Bulletin would like to wish all travellers this festive season safe travels and to enjoy their holidays.

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Travel safely this Festive Season

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