The Road Accident Fund (RAF) and the South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC) have initiated a tyre safety campaign aimed at educating law enforcement officers across the nation on identifying unlawful tyres that pose a significant threat to road safety.
This comprehensive program covers various aspects of tyre safety, including recognizing safe tyres (comprising tyre construction, markings, proper fitting, tread depth standards, and more), ensuring proper tyre maintenance, and highlighting the dangers associated with illegal and unsafe second-hand tyres.
In a recent development, the organization conducted its inaugural two-day workshop and educational roadblock in Jozini, KwaZulu-Natal.
Over 180 officers were provided with essential training in the field of tyre safety.
Additionally, there are plans for 11 more sessions to be held in key transportation hubs, such as the Western Cape and Gauteng, scheduled to continue until March 2024.
“South Africa has been grappling with an influx of substandard, unregulated tyres and hazardous second-hand tyres, which have significantly contributed to road accidents and safety concerns.
According to a study conducted by the SATMC, a staggering 63% of second-hand tyres sold on the roadside were found to be illegal waste tyres,” stated Nduduzo Chala, Managing Executive of SATMC.
Chala emphasized, “This collaboration with RAF is aimed at addressing these challenges by equipping traffic officers with the necessary knowledge to identify unsafe tyres and effectively enforce regulations.
Simultaneously, it provides motorists with valuable information to ensure tyre safety.”
Data from the Road Traffic Management Corporation’s 2021 State of Road Safety Report reveals that 41% of road accidents in South Africa between January and December 2021 resulted from tyre bursts prior to the accidents, with an additional 15% attributed to smooth tyres.
The nation’s rubber manufacturers have also raised concerns about the widespread use of non-roadworthy tyres on South Africa’s roads, which are frequently linked to car accidents.
Their estimates indicate that approximately 63% of the 1.5 to 2 million used tyres in South Africa are not roadworthy.
Chala remarked, “tyres, as the sole point of contact between a vehicle and the road, play a crucial role in vehicle performance, handling, and overall road safety.”
“In our joint efforts as SATMC and RAF, we recognize that equipping law enforcement officers and road users with knowledge of proper tyre safety is an essential step in our ongoing battle against road accidents in South Africa.”
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