Alexander Forbes offer tips on Protecting your property in stormy weather conditions

rain storms bloem

Recent media reports have warned Johannesburg residents to be on standby for flooding as a result of the current thunderstorms.

Alexander Forbes Insurance MD, Gari Dombo, offers a number of tips to minimise damage to your vehicle and household during these weather conditions.

  1. Vehicles

Make sure that your headlights, tail lights, brake lights, indicators and windscreen wipers are working properly. Also check your tyres and brakes regularly.

Maintain a safe following distance; drive in the middle lane whenever possible as water pools are more likely to form in the outside lanes. Avoid puddles as it is difficult to judge their actual depth.

Turn on your headlights to make your vehicle more visible to other drivers. If the rain limits your ability to see the road then rather pull over and wait for it to ease up.

 

  1. Home

Roof sheeting, roof tiles, gutters, downpipes and wood all need to be inspected. Gutters should be free from any debris and any missing gutters must be replaced so that water doesn’t collect near the foundation of your house.

Broken tiles and loose roof sheeting allow rainwater through the roof onto your ceiling. Wood items should be waxed to protect it from the moisture.

Dombo highlights the importance of proper drainage systems such as installing gutters, trenches and downspouts to direct water away from the house.

“Given the warnings that more rain can be expected in Gauteng I advise residents to implement the above risk mitigation measures to keep you, your house and vehicle safe,” concludes Dombo.

Also view:

Safe Driving in Bad Weather

JPSA’s preliminary response to the Gauteng e-tolls advisory report


eToll lights

Despite having had to go and find it ourselves, Justice Project South Africa has noted the contents of the Summary of recommendations made by the Advisory Panel, appointed by the Gauteng Premier Mr David Makhura, on the Socio-economic Impact of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and e-tolls as published on the Gauteng provincial government website.

Although it is clear from this summary that the fuel levy has not been entirely ignored for future phases of the GFIP, it is equally clear that the “hybrid model” of funding for the current GFIP seeks to retain e-tolling as a prominent component, despite its gross inefficiencies and enormous unpopularity among the citizens of Gauteng.

It is notable that it has been recommended that phase 1 of the GFIP should be provincially sourced. Given the fact that a provincial fuel levy has been advised against by the panel, this can only mean that it is being proposed that funding of the current GFIP should largely continue to be sought from e-tolling, albeit with a proposed reduced monthly cap on e-toll fees and a “ring-fenced” increase in motor vehicle licensing fees.

Although it may be believed by the panel and provincial government that a reduced e-tolls cap will lead to a buy-in on e-tolling by motorists, JPSA believes that this will have little effect on the current feelings citizens of Gauteng have towards ring fencing of our major routes around Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni and there remains little real chance of public acceptance of e-tolling.

JPSA will study the full panel report in due course and will make further comment thereon when it has.

Game changing trends and technologies for video surveillance in 2015 and beyond

surveilance camera

With the Internet of Things (IoT) continuing to be a hot topic throughout 2014 and across all industries -- whether it’s about smart cars or intelligent appliances such as connected refrigerators -- more consumers and businesses are now aware of the advantages of being connected to the internet, and so should the security professionals and business owners who are trying to ensure the safety of their organisations.

As many professionals in the security industry predict, the new HD standard ‘4K Ultra HD’ is a natural next step in the industry’s ongoing strive towards more image details and larger coverage from a security camera.

“4K for surveillance purposes is expected to take its full effect in 2015 and beyond,” says Roy Alves, regional business development manager for Axis Communications. “Image quality is a core consideration and while everyone is talking about 4K, the real challenge is to optimise image quality for the surveillance task at hand, no matter how bad the light or what the ambient conditions are.

“Innovation in this area —technology that enhances image quality for advanced video applications — will be a key industry driver. However, the advancements in image quality have created bigger pressure on managing the resources to support them. For example, they can have a significant impact on network bandwidth and storage requirements, increasing the need for more effective compression methods.”

Video surveillance-as-a-service (VSaaS) and cloud computing

This is when video surveillance-as-a-service (VSaaS) becomes useful for managing and archiving video footage captured by surveillance cameras onto cloud storage, says Alves.

Video surveillance systems can be a powerful tool in preventing or investigating crime when installed in locations such as shopping malls, parks, banks, airports, and other public transport. Some of the rapidly increasing demands for video surveillance systems has been driven by the growing safety and security concerns worldwide.

Cloud computing might have been a favorite buzzword in IT circles for several years, but the new era is very much upon us now. Whether in a public environment, where tenancy on servers is shared with other customers, or in a private environment, where your data and applications are the only ones on a system, cloud computing brings three advantages to your network -- redundancy, scalability and shifting costs from capital expenditure (CAPEX) to operating expenditure (OPEX). Depending on whether the cloud is hosted or run internally, there may be the added convenience of leaving upgrades, updates and patches -- routine maintenance -- in the hands of a third party.

Scalability doesn’t just factor in if more cameras are needed. It also enables access to more computing power and storage if, for example, higher resolution or faster frame rate is needed. If analytics on the video data collected is needed for customer traffic pattern analysis, for example, the processing capacity is there and is only paid for when needed.

Better functioning analytics running on the edge are also appropriate for critical infrastructure applications. The extra computing power could be used to store half a million license plates numbers and capture plates from cars driving past at 40 kilometers per hour, for instance.

Another interesting aspect of VSaaS is that it offers users the possibility to add additional services to their video surveillance – such as guard force or remote monitoring services.

Analytics, business intelligence (BI) and big data

Analytics technology is also considered to finally take off within the surveillance industry from 2015 and beyond for getting valuable insights from the enormous amount of both structured and unstructured information collected (also known as big data). With network cameras’ capability to provide higher resolution video and to be connected from everywhere and around the clock, security departments are getting more information from more sources. More analytics are needed to help organisations make sense of the tremendous amount of information including unstructured data such as images and videos. More intelligent applications are needed to help categorise and interpret the information, so it can be turned into actionable insight.

“The three Vs of big data -- volume, velocity, and variety -- can provide vital information during a crisis by providing the right data at the right time,” says Alves. “By starting with more factual data, such as surveillance data, physical access control data, and cyber activity information and then building useful associations, costs can be reduced by searching for the most relevant information.”

This is where the IP revolution changes the surveillance camera from a forensic tool aimed at solving problems after an incident has occurred to becoming a vital part of a proactive chain. Video images can be used in conjunction with analytic horsepower to discover customer traffic patterns in a retail outlet, dwell time at certain displays or isolate bottlenecks. Mash that up with other structured and unstructured data sources including transit schedules, lists of promotions, pricing data from your competitors, social media, and a skilled data scientist can tease out patterns and relationships that you never knew existed. And that is a significant competitive advantage.

Video compression and bandwidth usage

Video compression technologies are about reducing and removing redundant video data so that a digital video file can be effectively sent over a network and stored on computer disks. With efficient compression techniques, a significant reduction in file size can be achieved with little or no adverse effect on the visual quality. The video quality, however, can be affected if the file size is further lowered by raising the compression level for a given compression technique.

There are several video compression standards including Motion JPEG, MPEG-4 Part 2 (or simply referred to as MPEG-4) and H.264 -- being the latest and most efficient video compression standard and already the standard in video surveillance as well as many other industries, such as entertainment.

At the same time, the ongoing improvement in cameras regarding image resolution and light sensitivity for example, also increase the data output from the cameras – putting higher demands on the efficiency of the video compression. Video surveillance manufacturers need to balance the upsurge in resolution with improvements also to H.264 compression algorithms – to make sure costs for network bandwidth and storage do not spiral out of control. A combined effort of working on noise reduction methods and bit rate reduction should be in parallel with investigation new video coding to get the best results.

Beyond improvements in current H.264 compression, an interesting future technology is H.265, which is rapidly gaining interest in the broadcast industry. H.265 can reduce bandwidth and storage demands significantly (up to 50%) under the right circumstances and the technology can be expected to be introduced also in the security industry during the next few years. It is likely to be first deployed in high-end, high-resolution cameras, and it is expected that H.264 and H.265 will co-exist for quite a long time in the industry.

“At the end of the day, higher quality of images and videos such as 4K needs to be supported by the right technologies in the background for organisations to get the most out of the data, which can then be turned into useful insight not only for security purposes, but also for efficiency and gaining business advantages. This should be the key consideration for everyone who is looking for the next big thing in surveillance,” Alves concludes.

 

Justice Project says Festive season road death statistics are again misleading

Accident night time

It is with great sadness that Justice Project South Africa again finds itself having to contradict statements made with respect to the 2014/15 festive season road death toll allegedly declining.

In her speech today, the Minister of Transport stated that “The Festive Season spanning from 1 December 2014 to 5 January 2015 depicts a gloomy picture of the state of road safety. During this period we registered 1118 fatal crashes with 1368 fatalities. Compared to the same reporting period last year we registered 1147 fatal crashes with 1376 fatalities. This indicates a slight reduction of 2,5% for fatal crashes and 0,6% for fatalities.”

On 9 January 2014, the Minister of Transport held a media briefing at the offices of the Road Accident Fund in Centurion. At this media briefing she stated that “For the period under review, there were 1147 crashes nationally, with 1376 fatalities.” The period under review in 2014 was 1 December 2013 to 7 January 2014.

Again this year, 2 full days were shaved off the monitoring period. The 2013/14 monitoring period had 3 full days shaved off it over the 2012/13 festive season monitoring period which ran to 10 January 2013 and therefore, over the past 2 years, a full 5 days have been shaved off the monitoring period, in an apparent blatant attempt to make it appear that there has been a reduction in road deaths over the festive season, however small that reduction may be claimed to be.

The so-called decline should not therefore be “half-heartedly acknowledged”; it should be whole-heartedly rejected since the measuring period is significantly unequal and therefore this manipulation has the effect of skewing the statistics. It is completely preposterous to suggest that there were no fatal crashes and road deaths on the 6th and 7th of January 2015. In fact it is notable that as a result of this skewing, the slaying of Sergeant Curt Oosthuizen of the SAPS West Rand Flying Squad through being crashed into at a roadblock on Tuesday 6 January 2015 is not included in this year’s statistics.

The delinquency of many motorists who refuse to abide by even the simplest of the rules of the road is a symptom of a far wider problem of the incorrect, inefficient and largely absent traffic law enforcement that takes place throughout the year. The high volume of fatal crashes also bears testimony to a largely defunct driver licensing testing system and the systemic corruption in both, traffic law enforcement and driving licence testing centres in South Africa.

While an improvement in these two facets of road safety will not miraculously reduce our road fatalities by half on their own, cleaning up these two areas would have a significant effect on reducing the carnage on our roads and on road safety in general. Skewing statistics however, is counter-productive.

Howard Dembovsky

National Chairman - Justice Project South Africa (NPC)

Champs of First Car Rental’s Rhino Orphanage ‘Post Your Selfie’ campaign

empress_za - Emily Fernandez-Lucky draw winner

Emily Fernandez-Lucky draw winner

GAUTENG, JOHANNESBURG, 8 JANUARY 2015 - First Car Rental’s Rhino Orphanage 'Post Your Selfie’ campaign to raise national awareness for the world’s first non-profit Rhino Orphanage encouraged people to take selfies with any of the four Rhino Orphanage-wrapped Nissan Jukes and post them via social media.

The campaign ended on 16 November 2014 and 2 selfies were announced as champs of the two R20 000 holidays up for grabs, sponsored by First Car Rental.

The Most Creative Selfie was given to Kelly Fraser. Said Kelly, "I had seen the First Car Rental Rhino Orphanage car everywhere, generating some serious awareness for such a relevant cause, so after riding the Race for the Rhino race I thought, why not! I took my "Shout Out" selfie and I won! I still can't believe I won! It's going to be one special holiday! Almost as special as the Rhino ;)"

A computer algorithm randomly selected Emily Fernandez for the lucky draw. Said Emily, “I was a marshal at the Global March for Elephants, Rhino and Lions on 4th of October in Sandton, which was one of the best volunteer experiences I have ever had. It was amazing to see so many people turn up in support for our wildlife. I love animals, so when I saw this car with a baby rhino on it, I had to get a pic with it. Thank you to First Car Rental for raising awareness of the wonderful work that the Rhino Orphanage is doing.”

Reach and Impact
• The social media campaign reached over 2.7 million people on Twitter, Facebook, Google + and Instagram.
• Facebook ‘likes’ for the Rhino Orphanage increased by 125.23%, from 9 158 to 20 627.
• Twitter followers for the Rhino Orphanage increased by 163.61%, from 1061 to 2 797.

Says Melissa Storey, Executive Head of Strategy, Development and Marketing at First Car Rental,

“The Rhino Orphanage campaign reached over 2.7 million people since its launch in February last year. We received hundreds of ‘selfies’ and ‘youies’ showing that people really care and want to help raise awareness of the Rhino Orphanage, and the plight of rhino in general. Thank you to all those people who have spread the message of the Rhino Orphanage by posting amazing selfies! You are truly purple-hearted people.”

Kelly_Eff - Kelly_Fraser - most creative selfie

Kelly Fraser - most creative selfie

Housebreakers arrested and stolen goods recovered by police in Glencoe

EXHIBITS

Glencoe detectives and Crime Prevention Unit made a breakthrough when they arrested three suspects aged between 20 and 27 for housebreakings in the area. The arrested suspects were linked to the housebreaking that was reported in one of the business premises in Glencoe where electrical appliances were taken. The members recovered goods suspected to be taken during housebreakings. Goods include four plasma TV sets, DVD player, home theatre with speakers, amplifiers and laptop.

Some of the goods are not yet identified and we are appealing to the community who lost their property to come forward and identify the recovered property. Suspects who are the foreign nationals might be linked to other housebreaking cases in the area. All arrested suspects appeared yesterday, 5 January 2015 in the Glencoe Magistrate’s Court and the case was remanded until 12 January 2015 for further investigation.

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni praised Glencoe members for their sterling work. ‘I also encourage community members to mark their goods and keep the serial numbers away so that it will be ease to identify their goods in case they are recovered,’ she said.

Also view:

Tips for increased Safety Awareness and Preventing House Robberies

 

Justice Project questions release of road death statistics

 

IMG-20141213-WA0006

On 30 December 2014, the Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters announced that 1143 road deaths had resulted from 924 fatal crashes up to 28 December 2014. Today, in an email entitled “END OF FESTIVE SEASON FINAL STATEMENT” it has been announced by the Department of Transport that “In the period, 01 December 2014 to 30 December 2014, we have registered 924 fatal crashes with 1143 fatalities whilst last year during the same period under review we registered 974 fatal crashes with 1168 fatalities. This demonstrates a reduction of 50 fatal crashes and 25 fatalities.”

Firstly, it is a physical impossibility that no fatal crashes, resulting in no fatalities occurred on the 29th and 30th of December 2014, no matter how anyone wishes that it could be true. Secondly, the road death statistics for the 2013/14 festive season up to 30 December 2013 were NOT “974 fatal crashes with 1168 fatalities” they were 987 fatal crashes with 1184 fatalities.

Thirdly, while the festive season itself may be over, the period used for monitoring road death statistics is far from over. The 2012/13 festive season road death monitoring period ran from 1 December 2012 to 10 January 2013. In the 2013/14 festive season, this monitoring period was shortened by three days – running from 1 December 2013 to 7 January 2014.

This year, it would appear that the Department of Transport is seeking to shave a further full week off the monitoring period to make the situation appear to be significantly better than it really is.

Justice Project South Africa is very concerned about the blatant manipulation of information that is coming out of the Department of Transport and which is resulting in misinformation and outright lies being spread by the very Department that accuses others of spreading misinformation.

It is remarkable and of grave concern that the Department of Transport cannot remember what it has said in its own media statements and a speech delivered by the Minister of Transport 6 days ago and then expects people to believe the misinformation that they release into the wild.

Best Regards,

Howard Dembovsky

National Chairman - Justice Project South Africa (NPC)

JPSA vindicated by Public Protector’s Report on JMPD Maladministration

CaptureJOHANNESBURG – Having now received and studied the full report entitled “A Matter of Interpretation” announced by the Public Protector on 18 December 2014 Justice Project South Africa feels vindicated by the fact that the JMPD has been found to have engaged in “improper conduct and maladministration” by the Public Protector.

This matter has been an uphill battle that has continued for more than four and a half years with the JMPD and other agencies repeatedly attempting to discredit JPSA along the way in order to continue engaging in their improper conduct and maladministration but the truth has prevailed and JPSA has been proven to have been right in its assertions that it has held from day one.

It is a shame however that the only remedial action that has been imposed on the JMPD is for it to “apologise” for breaking the law and to provide its “reasons” for doing so in Johannesburg Newspapers since we had hoped that at the very least they would have been compelled to cancel all of the outstanding unlawfully issued AARTO infringement notices that still exist on their system.
As things stand, the JMPD remains in a position to continue to stop motorists in roadblocks and demand payment of these infringement notices under threat of arrest, despite the fact that the notices are in fact unlawful and that the JMPD has no legal powers to arrest or otherwise detain any motorist on the basis of outstanding AARTO fines.

The purpose of traffic fines should not be about providing a revenue stream for the City of Johannesburg or any other municipality, but sadly that is exactly what they are viewed to be. This was made even more apparent in the report wherein it was stated that “the collected revenue through issuing of infringement notices between August 2010 to December 2012 has escalated to R963 871 250”. JMPD Chief, Zwelinzima Nyanda then went on to say that “the revenue collected from traffic fines is a source of general income for the City of Johannesburg and that a lesser revenue received would result in charging rate taxpayers more in order to source its budget”.

It somehow seems to have been overlooked that the illegal revenues collected by the JMPD would never have grown to nearly a billion Rand, up to half of which should have been paid to the Road Traffic Infringement Agency, should the JMPD and the City of Johannesburg have acted responsibly and ceased its unlawful actions at the time that JPSA first started engaging with them in mid-2010 over this matter.

Just because the JMPD began to comply with the AARTO Act on 22 December 2012 due to the mounting pressure which resulted from the investigation by the Public Protector and questions asked of the Minister of Transport in Parliament does not remedy the situation of the JMPD having violated the Act for 32 months prior to that and this matter has unfortunately not been addressed or remedied.

JPSA will be considering its options over the next few weeks and may consider approaching the High Court in the New Year to seek an order compelling the JMPD to cancel all illegal infringement notices that exist on their system, if the JMPD refuses to do so of its own volition. By not compelling the JMPD to cancel the remaining illegal infringement notices, the JMPD has effectively been given free license to continue to benefit from their improper conduct and maladministration.

JPSA again warns motorists not to be intimidated into paying AARTO 03 infringement notices issued by the JMPD starting with 02-4024 issued between June 2010 and 21 December 2012 since all AARTO 08 representations made to the RTIA to have these withdrawn have been successful.

 

Best Regards,

Howard Dembovsky
National Chairman - Justice Project South Africa (NPC)

ER24 breathes life into baby rhino

Andrew Boden with Thor

Andrew Boden with Thor

If a rhino could talk, he would tell you about the trauma he endured after losing his mother at the hands of poachers and how he himself, almost died.

He would also tell you how Care for Wild Africa and ER24 saved his life.

While ER24 is all about making sure people obtain realhelprealfast, they do find themselves called upon to save other beings.

One such incident was that of a baby rhino, Thor, who would probably have died if not for ER24.

Petronel Nieuwoudt, the founder of Care for Wild Africa which is based in Mpumalanga, said Thor, an eight-month-old black rhino, suffered severe dehydration recently.

“I went to a fundraising dinner. While there, I received a message stating Thor was unwell.

“Thor was in a bad condition. It was difficult to stabilise him. His blood sugar was low. I told people at the farm to put a drip on him. They said there was no way this could be done because there were no drips left. I thought the best thing to do was call ER24. The most amazing thing happened that evening,” said Nieuwoudt.

She spoke to Marius Koekemoer, the Northern Regional manager, who suggested she come to the base and pick up medication.

When she arrived at the base Koekemoer told her that he was going off duty and would go back to the farm with her to help.

“I was in shock. Thor is close to me. I needed help. We rushed back to the farm. It felt like a movie,” said Nieuwoudt. On arrival, they rushed to Thor to stabilise him.

They rehydrated him with dextrose and milk. They were unsuccessful in the initial use of an intravenous drip however were able to insert one later on.

“Thor was dying. The only way to save him was to get fluids into him and get his glucose levels up. I just sat there and watched the miracle unfold in front of me. It was such a relief. ER24 is not only about saving people. The wonder and magic around Thor is part of the ER24 story. I cannot thank them enough. Koekemoer was brilliant, caring and magnificent,” said Nieuwoudt.

Since the treatment, Thor has been doing well. Nieuwoudt said he was moved to a bigger enclosure and now weighs 130 kilogrammes.

Petronel

Petronel with Thor

 

Thor’s horrific past

Thor is one of several baby rhinos that have suffered as a result of poachers.

His mother’s horn was taken after she was shot. She suffered for a week. Thor was by her side. When she was found she had to be put down. Thor was thin and dehydrated. He was taken to the Care for Wild Africa farm. “He almost died. He stopped breathing in the helicopter when he was rescued,” said Nieuwoudt.

 

Poaching

Statistics released by the Department of Environmental Affairs in November show that 1020 rhinos have been killed since 1 January 2014.

Mr Andrew Boden, the Chief Executive Officer of ER24, said poaching leaves rhinos is a horrific state. “With horns showing more value than cocaine it is no fault of their own that they have become targets. People do not know which organisations to support. Care for Wild Africa works closely with the Kruger National Park and Mpumalanga Parks Board. That endorsement makes us comfortable and this is why we support them.

“I visited Care for Wild Africa in July. I then decided to get ER24 involved. We donate equipment, medication and other necessities. We are also working on an adopt a rhino campaign,” said Boden.

Talking about those that survive but undergo severe injuries and trauma, Koekemoer, an animal lover, said, “Animals experience the same symptoms and show the same signs as people do when undergo trauma. However, they are more difficult to treat.

“If they do not receive the necessary attention they could die. It is a bit more difficult to treat animals because they cannot talk. They cannot tell you how they are feeling. What is being done to rhinos by poachers is outrageous. However, there are a lot of organisations which are trying their best to help rhinos.”

Nieuwoudt said orphans need a lot of medical care and attention.

Care for Wild Africa cares for several injured and orphaned animals.

Wildlife is tended at an animal hospital on the farm until they can be rehabilitated back into the wild. Join ER24 in supporting Care for Wild Africa. Email info@er24.co.za for further information.

 

To view a video on Thor:

Assistance to Road Users to Drive Safely this Festive Season

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According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) around 40 people die on South Africa’s roads a day, costing the economy more than R300bn a year. Over the 2013 Christmas period alone, 1 376 South African people lost their lives in car accidents.

“As the year draws to a close, we are reminded of the devastating accidents that have made headlines this year. In light of these, we would like to urge motorists to be cautious and alert on the roads this Festive Season, committing themselves to safer road user habits,” says Juan Marais, Sales Director of Cartrack.

In an effort to make a difference, Cartrack joined hands with Fury Motor Group to provide support to Netcare 911’s Rapid Intervention Unit in offering invaluable support to paramedic and fire personnel during road accident rescue operations, complete with extrication capabilities. The support vehicle operates independently from official medical and rescue vehicles.

About the Rapid Intervention Unit:

Peter De Kock, Group Risk and Credit Manager at Fury Motor Group says that the unique road accident support vehicle is first and foremost a project that belongs to the community. “There is no charge to the public for the services rendered by the unit. Our priority is to provide quality emergency support in a time of absolute need and when lives of accident victims and medical personnel depend on it,” says Peter.

Netcare 911’s Rapid Intervention Unit will once again be stationed along the N3 route to Kwazulu-Natal at the Van Reenen’s Pass over the Festive Season – a hot spot for accidents - and will attend to any incidents in the vicinity. One of the key services that the vehicle provides is to prevent situations where a motorist crashes into an existing accident scene. “Distracted drivers often do not have enough time to react to a change in the road conditions, which can potentially cause additional damage to an existing accident scene by further injuring accident victims, and placing the lives of emergency personnel attending to the scene at serious risk,” explains Peter.

Cartrack, Fury Motor Group and Netcare 911 provide the following road safety tips:
• Avoid speaking on your phone, but if you absolutely must, always use a hands-free mobile kit to make or receive a phone call.
• Never text on your phone while driving.
• Do not speed. Speed limits are there for good reason – abide by them. According to Arrive Alive, speeding is regarded as a factor in nearly one-third of all fatal crashes.
• Pay attention to road signs and markings – they are there to protect you and other road users.
• Get enough sleep before your trip and make regular stops to stretch your legs and refresh your mind.
• Keep your cool and avoid road rage.
• Have your car serviced and thoroughly checked before your. Double check your car’s tyres to ensure the tread is adequate and ensure that oil, water and brake fluid levels are sufficient before you leave.
• Find out what the emergency numbers are of the places you are driving through or to and have them handy.
If an emergency vehicle approaches
• Make use of rear view mirrors (you will see the emergency vehicle long before you hear the sirens).
• Relax, and look at the emergency vehicle and/or driver as they will indicate where they want to go; guiding you where you should go.
• Move towards the left so the vehicle can pass on your right.
• Should you not be able to move left, move towards the edge of your lane so the emergency vehicle can pass between the vehicles.
• Never tailgate an emergency vehicle as they could decelerate or stop at any time.
• Do not use the emergency lane if traffic is backed up.

“The Rapid Intervention Unit has an important role to play and there is a real need for vehicles of this nature to assist in making our roads safer and providing first line of care for accident victims. The real win however, would be if these accidents never happened in the first place – and it all boils down to reassessing our driver behaviour and making changes for the better,” concludes Juan Marais, Cartrack.