In South Africa, road fatalities are a crisis.
According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation’s 2021 State of Road Safety in South Africa report, there were 10 611 fatal crashes in 2021 – a 26.4% increase over 2020, and a 2% increase over 2019. There were 12 545 road fatalities in 2021.
Hollard is working to enhance road safety in South Africa through its Highway Heroes competition, which identifies and rewards South Africa’s best and safest truck – and for the first time this year, bus drivers.
At a media launch event in Parktown on Thursday for the 2023 iteration of the competition Paul Dangerfield, Hollard Trucking National Operations Manager, said that Highway Heroes is all about improving road safety.
The competition, which has been running since 2015, “promotes safer driving practices,” said Dangerfield.
“The Hollard Highway Heroes competition has led to a big improvement in participating drivers’ road behaviour. Better driving, in turn, reduces risk and leads to safer roads. It also means lower fuel and maintenance costs, and fewer claims.”
This year, for the first time, the competition is open to drivers of all truck and bus fleets – not only those affiliated to Hollard.
“By including bus drivers in the competition, we want to have a greater positive influence on enhancing road safety in South Africa. But the broader mission is to go beyond trucking and buses to cut risk and reduce road-accident claims and tragic loss of life,” said Dangerfield.
Last year, Hollard Highway Heroes received 2 400 entries. This year the aim is to attract at least 5 000 truck drivers and a decent first cohort of bus drivers. Entries open on 1 March and remain open until 31 May. After the first monitoring phase ends on 31 July, 50 truck drivers and 20 bus drivers will progress to the second assessment phase from 1 September to 15 October.
There are big cash prizes to be won – R50 000 for five category winners, R100 000 for the top bus driver and R150 000 for the overall winning truck driver. The winners will be crowned at a high-profile gala event at Emperors Palace, Ekurhuleni, on 17 November.
“We’re deeply invested in entrenching safe driving practices, and creating shared value by making South Africa’s roads safer for all road users – whether you’re a fleet owner, broker, driver, community member, or one of our sponsor partners in this initiative. Our message is: we are where you are!” said Dangerfield.
“This ties in with our overarching business purpose at Hollard: to create better futures for all. We believe good drivers help us create better futures for all road users by delivering their cargo and passengers safely and responsibly, and by being an example to others.”