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07 December 2011

SAWDIS HOLIDAY ALERT 2011/2012


Road crashes to be aired to public

Today, 6 December, 2011, we officially launch our Crash Witness Campaign, which, for the first time in South African history, gives the public access to real crash footage from Western Cape CCTV cameras.

The footage of three crashes can be viewed at http://safelyhome.westerncape.gov.za/galleries/video-gallery

The videos are not for viewers under the age of 18 and sensitive viewers are warned that the content is graphic.

Please note that for the print media, stills are available on request.

The campaign was conceived after the Ministry was supplied with crash footage from the Freeway Management System, the joint highway monitoring system of SANRAL, the Western Cape Provincial Government and the City of Cape Town.

The impact on behaviour of seeing what actually happens on our roads is undeniable.

This footage brings home to the motorist, the passenger and the pedestrian the very real dangers that exist on our roads, and has a profound effect on those who view it.

Deciding to publish this footage was a very difficult decision, and we anticipate that there will be many who will criticise it. In some of these clips, people are killed or very badly injured.

South Africans have been hiding from the reality on the roads too long, hiding behind words like “accidents” and even the belief that the carnage is somehow God’s will.

I believe, however, that seeing the reality in these videos can get people to slow down, to not drink and drive, to buckle up, to leave their cellphones alone, and to watch out for pedestrians. By doing so, they will not only save lives, but will give meaning to the otherwise senseless deaths that occur so routinely on our roads. This view has been reinforced by the survivors and next of kin that we have met and spoken to about using the videos.

The footage will be released gradually over the Festive Season period.

All public comment is very welcome and will be considered, and anyone with a query, complaint or other feedback about the videos can contact Safely Home via email at info@safelyhome.co.za.

The new Safely Home website has been launched as part of the Western Cape Government’s revamp of its web presence, and will be launched in phases, the first phase being a vehicle for the Crash Witness Campaign.

The next phase will see the introduction of an incident reporting tool which members of the public will be able to use to easily and quickly report road traffic incidents.

Safely Home thanks Brad Schaffer of Co-Op TV (www.co-optv.com), who directed and produced Crash Witness as a public service.

Issued by: Western Cape Transport and Public Works
6 Dec 2011