RAF launches tyre safety programme to empower traffic officers and motorists

Published Dec 19, 2023


The South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC), representing the four tyre manufacturers with plants in South Africa, has teamed up with the Road Accident Fund (RAF) to ramp up tyre safety education and enforcement across South Africa.

The focus is on upskilling law enforcement and road safety officers and educating commuters on various aspects of tyre safety.

Watch the RAF’s new YouTube playlist to educate motorists about tyre maintenance:

Data from the Road Traffic Management Corporation’s (RTMC) State of Road Safety Report for the period January to December 2021 shows that 41% of crashes occurred due to tyre bursts prior to the crash, while a further 15% of crashes were due to smooth tyres.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s National Road Safety Strategy 2016-2030 notes that “…tyres are a major issue as both burst and smooth tyres suggest tyres not being replaced or maintained regularly enough to maintain required roadworthiness standards. To address this and other issues greater emphasis needs to be placed on law enforcement interventions aimed at ensuring that vehicles are roadworthy.”

The RAF conducts countrywide workshops, educational programmes and marketing campaigns to promote safe walking, driving, cycling, and passenger habits, and to empower the enforcement of road rules. “In this regard, we have partnered with experts in tyre usage such as SATMC in order to continue the fight against road crash injuries and fatalities by increasing awareness and shifting the mindsets of all road users,” said RAF Road Safety Senior Manager, Siphamandla Gumbi.

Nduduzo Chala, SATMC Managing Executive, said,: “Being the sole point of contact between a vehicle and the road, tyres play a crucial role in vehicle performance, handling, and safety on the roads. As the SATMC and RAF, we know that equipping law enforcement and road users with the knowledge of proper tyre safety is an essential step in our ongoing battle against road accidents in South Africa."

The SATMC and RAF Tyre Safety Programme include two-day training sessions for traffic and road safety officers covering topics such as the importance of tyre safety, how to identify safe tyres (including tyre construction, markings, fitment, tread depth standards, and more), how to maintain tyres properly, and the dangers of illegal and unsafe second-hand tyres.

There are a series of educational roadshows and on-road educational roadblocks in all nine provinces of South Africa.

To maximise impact, special emphasis is placed on major transport hubs like KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape, and Gauteng. A total of 12 sessions will be conducted until March 2024.