Operational activities at an accident scene are also described as “Incident Management” – a term used to describe the process whereby a set of coordinated activities are initiated when an incident occurs on a road network, in order to minimise the direct and secondary effects of the incident, as well as to restore traffic to normal operating conditions.
As road users we need to be aware of the importance of accident scene safety and why we need to do everything possible to allow time and space for emergency personnel. The first hour after an accident is called the Golden Hour – physicians say seriously injured car crash victims need to reach comprehensive medical care within 60 minutes to ensure a good chance of survival. At the accident scene, this scenario leaves about 12 minutes for rescuers to extricate the wounded and speed them toward the hospital.
Sensitive, competent handling of victims in the immediate aftermath of the accident can have a tremendous impact on both the victim’s subsequent psychological recovery and on law enforcement efforts to solve the case.
On the Arrive Alive road safety website we have added a section on “Accident Scene Safety”. We would like to invite all motorists to gain awareness on safe behaviour near accident scenes!
Doing research on rail/ level crossings and road safety, I have come across interesting data. Approximately 95% of accidents are caused by driver error – and these are inattention, driver distraction, risk taking, disobeying or lack of knowledge of the road rules and sometimes suicide.
Some of the facts are:
• Stopping distance: Trains can’t stop within 1.5 km
• Relative size: If trains were cars you would look like a soda can
• Number of level crossings: There are 7500 level crossings in South Africa
• Number of fatalities: 13 persons were killed last year in 129 incidents
Why do we say there is no contest? – it is obvious that there are a significant size difference – but for the best display on what happens when a train crashes into a motor vehicle we have to refer to our Top Gear experts and a video clip titled “Top Gear Level Crossing Public Service Film”
Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar, spokesperson for the Johannesburg metro police department, said motorists forking out large sums of money on laser- and radar-jamming equipment could end up facing harsher consequences than a speeding fine.
Car navigation systems that detect speed traps, jammers that scramble speed-reading equipment and sprays that make number plates invisible to cameras are among the devices available to help motorists to avoid fines.
“When the instrument used by a motorist has the capability of jamming police equipment, the person using it is at risk of being charged with defeating the ends of justice, which carries a jail term,” Minnaar said, adding that several motorists had been arrested, charged and heavily fined after being caught with jammers.
He said GPS systems that warned of known trapping spots or popular sites for mobile speed traps were both legal and welcomed by the JMPD. [TomTom refers to such info on the GPS as an extensive safety camera database]
“Anything that causes a motorist to slow down and obey the law is good.”
View the Arrive Alive website for more information on “GPS and road safety”
Let’s just hope this car won’t be rented to idiots that mix alcohol and bravery, because this may be the most powerful Gallardo we have ever seen. Always behind the older (more powerful) brother, Lamborghini Murcielago, Florida based Heffner decided to tune it up and show the world that it can.
Everything started with heavy modded 5 liter V10 engine, steel cylinder liners, a new twin-turbo system fitted to a custom exhaust and intake systems, twin waste gates, new pistons, polished crankshaft journals and blow-off valves. Added to all these the twin-stage electronic boost controller and (the most important) the heavy duty clutch help the tuner to raise power up to 930 bhp and a peak torque of 1032Nm (762lb-ft ).
That’s a fast dinosaur with a carbon fiber rear decklid and a Superleggera inspired rear difuser and spoiler which most of us will never afford, but at least we can look. Right? Again to those that are in the rent-a-car business. Just make sure no idiots drive it, though I’m thinking this may never get into such a garage.
It has been said that a well maintained vehicle speaks volumes about the owner. Not only will the vehicle reflect characteristics, neatness etc…but will provide many benefits to the owner, driver, other road users and even the community!
What are the benefits of effective vehicle maintenance?
• Saving fuel and money – mechanical systems of the vehicle will affect fuel efficiency
• Reducing long-term maintenance costs
• Minimize harmful exhaust emissions and protect the environment
• Increase reliability of your vehicle and limit the risk of vehicle breakdown
• Increase the resale value of your vehicle
The biggest benefit is however increased safety on the road. Proper vehicle maintenance will reduce the likelihood of accidents caused by vehicle failure. It will also lead to fewer vehicle break-downs and the avoidable exposure to the criminal element next to the road!
The Arrive Alive Road Safety Website has included a section on “Vehicle Maintenance and Road Safety” to assist road users with advice and suggestions on maintaining their vehicles.
Recent petrol increases have left many South Africans in fear of a visit to the petrol pumps. This might also have an affect on the way we plan our business meetings with more attention to saving on time and travel.
The effect on road safety has not been measured – but common sense dictates that their will be less unnecessary travel and speeding. The Arrive Alive website received this light hearted image pointing towards companies restructuring their travel benefits. Perhaps we will need to focus more on cycling safety in the next few months..!!
Much has been written in recent months about the unscrupulous behavior of some tow truck operators. It is important to remember that a motorist is not at the mercy of these operators but has a say in the towing away of his vehicle. Few motorists might however be aware of Section 61(3) of the Road Traffic Act which stipulates that ‘…no person shall remove a vehicle involved in an accident, except for the purpose of sufficiently allowing the passage of traffic, without the permission of the owner, driver or operator of such vehicle or a person who may lawfully take possession of such vehicle.’
The South African Towing and Recovery Association (SATRA) has identified the need for the industry to be regulated. Anybody can buy a one-ton truck and turn it into a tow truck and start operating – and such an operator might pose a significant financial risk to the uninformed motorist.
The Arrive Alive website has addressed the need for more information with a section titled “Recovery of Vehicle after Accident / Dealing with Tow Truck Operators” and also a shortened version on the mobile road safety website at arrivealive.mobi
[The image is that of the VW Touareg V10 TDI towing a 155-ton Boeing 747 down an auxiliary runway at Dunsfold airport, 60km south-west of London at the end of 2006]
Sometimes you find traffic fines in the post knowing that you were not the driver. It is often the kind gesture of allowing a friend to drive your vehicle that ends up in the not so kind receipt of a fine…
Not everyone is aware that there are procedures to follow in redirecting this fine to the actual driver. The Technical Committee for Standards and Procedures for Traffic Control and Traffic Control Equipment [TCSP] has made available information on the Arrive Alive Road Safety website.
Part of this reads as follows:
7.1 In the case where the owner of a motor vehicle is charged on a section 341 notice, in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977, for an offence where the driver is not known, and the presumption in section 73 of the National Road Traffic Act, 1996 is used to charge the owner for the offence, and such owner wishes to redirect the notice to the actual offender, the following procedure must be followed:
7.1.1 The owner referred to in paragraph 7.1 must make an affidavit or affirmation containing the:
Physical residential address;
Affirmation or affidavit containing ID number and driving licence number of driver or a copy of the rental agreement if it serves the purpose of an affirmation,
and submit it to the issuing authority that issued the notice.
7.1.2 The owner must request the redirection within 30 days after the first section 341 notice was received and must notify the driver that the notice will be redirected to him.
Visit the Arrive Alive Road Safety Website for more information on the redirecting of fines and the duties placed on the issuing of traffic authorities.