With hundreds of holidaymakers heading for their destinations this December, road safety is a prime concern this festive season. With this in mind, SA Taxi Protect and Autoboys have joined forces to remind travellers to drive with care.
The initiative kick-started with the Ndlelanhle Festive Season and Customer Care Campaign, launched on Friday 11 December at the Germiston Main Taxi Rank, which was hosted by the National Taxi Alliance and attended by SA Taxi.
One of the highlights of the campaign is Autoboys’ generous donation of 2 000 pairs of Valeo wiper blades to members of the taxi industry. Valeo is the biggest OEM wiping system manufacturer in the world, providing a wide variety of wipers to automakers worldwide. The wipers fit vehicles typically used by the taxi industry, including Quantum hi roof, Quantum low roof, Nissan NV 350, Mercedes Sprinter Bus, VW Crafter and Toyota Hi Ace.
The donation was collected by SANTACO which was split between the NTA as well. Both organisations went on to distribute the wiper blades to members of the industry, using them to replace damaged wiper blades at industry initiated safety roadblocks. Drivers were also handed a leaflet, explaining the relationship between SA Taxi Protect and Autoboys.
Maroba Maduma, Communications Executive at SA Taxi, explains that this initiative forms part of a broader intervention launched by the two organisations earlier this year.
“We first partnered with Autoboys to launch an awareness campaign as part of Transport Month, which took place in October,” Maduma states.
He adds that the accent on windscreen wipers is critical, given that many parts of the country experience their rainy seasons during December. “Vehicle fitness is, always important, but it’s all the more vital during wet weather conditions we’ve been having,” he comments.
Filum Ho, CEO of Autoboys, agrees that windscreen wipers play a critical role in keeping drivers and passengers safe.
“Correctly fitted wiper blades, which wipe the outside of the windscreen directly in front of the driver and keep up a continuous, even and adequate rhythm enhance road safety significantly,” Ho explains. On the other hand, wipers that are perished and therefore do not sweep water away, or which wipe only erratically, impair visibility and place all travelling in the vehicle at considerable risk.
This is why wiper blade maintenance is just as important as maintenance of any other critical component, and should be part of any regular preventative maintenance plan. Ho says that this should include checking the wiper blades, as well as windshield washer pumps, hoses and fluid.
“Many drivers don’t think of these components until one of them fails, but that is highly dangerous,” Ho says.
The campaign also aims to highlight the dangers that potentially face drivers called to act swiftly in wet conditions.
“The ability to make a sudden stop rests very heavily on being able to react quickly – and visibility plays a bit part in this. That’s why we’ve placed emphasis on windscreen wipers, but it’s worth noting that headlights that are in good working order are just as crucial,” says Ho.
Maduma said that Autoboys was the ideal partner in a campaign promoting safety, as the organisation has established a well-earned reputation as a specialist in automotive glass, parts and paint solutions. With 72 branches nationwide, it has a footprint throughout the country, making the company an easily accessible and convenient choice for motorists seeing to ensure their vehicles are in top condition.
“This has been a difficult year for most South Africans, and we’re all looking forward to our holidays. Road safety should be one less thing we have to worry about as we head off for the holidays,” he states.
“Ensuring that every part of your vehicle is in peak working order is one surefire way to ensure peace of mind – and that, in turn, contributes to better driving,” Ho concludes.