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SMVAF News - MVA urges road users to be vigilant this winter

29 September, 2014 - With winter in our midst, Sincephetelo Motor Vehicle Accidents Fund wishes to remind all road users, particularly pedestrians, to take extra care.Statistics from 2000-2012 reveal an increase in pedestrians injured in road crashes in the winter months of the year. We have noted that in the months of May to August, pedestrian casualties often increase by 13% over their daily average. SMVA Fund Corporate Strategy and Communications Manager, Makhosi Magongo, said the concerning statistics has sparked the Fund to plead for greater caution on the roads this winter.

“Almost everyone is a pedestrian at times and, as such, is a vulnerable road “Vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, must consider their movements carefully during times of poor visibility. “To date this year, these vulnerable road users account for over 30% of road fatalities – which highlights just how susceptible they are. “One of the key factors involved in pedestrian crashes is that other road users do not see them until it is too late, or that they step out from concealed locations. “Increased visibility through bright or fluorescent coloured clothing with reflective properties is fundamental, particularly while the daylight hours are shorter and weather conditions make visibility poorer. “Drivers can also help make the road environment safer by being vigilant – scanning for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists at crossings and intersections, and lowering their speed in cases where visibility is poor,” Magongo said.

The MVA Funs has the following pedestrian safety tips: •Always use pedestrian crossing •Never assume that the driver an approaching vehicle can see you, or will stop for you. Wait until all vehicles have stopped before you cross•At intersections, check for turning vehicles before you leave the kerb•Avoid crossing between parked cars or at the front or back of buses; and •Wear reflective or bright coloured clothing.

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