NEW IN SA: A new television programme will be aired in SA to highlight the importance of road safety. Image: iStock
Cape Town - The Department of Transport (DoT) has launched a new television series, titled "Ingozi". to be aired on SABC 1. The aim? To promote road safety as part of its ongoing plans to "reduce road fatalities by 50%, as set out in the United Nations Declaration on Road Safety 2010 to 2020".
The series will run from February 12 to May 7 2017, from 19:30 to 20:00.
Arrive Alive and Justice Project South Africa share their views on the show at end of this article.
Reducing road carnage
The DoT and the Road Traffic Management Corporation says it partnered with Word of Mouth production to develop a 13 part 24min "educational and informative drama series suitable to be viewed by the young and old".
Peters says the series aims to raise public awareness about road safety using a television drama to deliver the message and to "bring a unique offering in the road safety subject matter because the issue has never been formally addressed on such a platform before".
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Peters said: "'Ingozi' seeks to rectify and provide the right amount and quality road safety knowledge and information, expecting that people will come to the right way of thinking and do their part in reducing carnage on our roads."
"The series engages elements such as attitudes and social norms that play a role in people's chosen behaviour. Although such elements are revealed in our drama, the drama veer right into presenting people with information on either or both the ramifications of the undesirable behaviour and the profits of the correct behaviour.
"Underneath it all, "Ingozi" story line is designed with the assumption that the behaviour people exhibit is the result of rational thought and careful deliberation. Given a set of options people will choose, the option that makes the most sense will ultimately result in the biggest payoff, which is the reduction of crashes and fatalities on our roads. One last thing to take into account is that the creative storyline followed in "Ingozi" will be put to good use beyond influencing the behaviour of the target audience themselves but it also maximizes its potential impact beyond the principal targets of the message."
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Click on the GIF below to watch a shocking SA road-safety ad
Justice Project South Africa chairman, Howard Dembovsky, said: "JPSA is delighted to see this development and feels that it is a positive move in the right direction. Obviously, the Department of Transport and the RTMC should make use of any and all media platforms to get road safety messages out and there can be no argument that “free to air” television channels for which one does not need to pay a subscription is by far, the best way to go.
"I personally have not seen the show, but will be sure to do so as soon possible, which may only be this coming Sunday, 19 February.
I must admit to being somewhat bewildered, albeit not surprised by the esteemed Minister of Transport again extending her begging bowl to the private sector to fund road safety messages in her speech, given the fact that the vast majority of road safety messages currently arise from the private sector and NGOs and the Department of Transport and/or the RTMC don’t even operate or fund a website dedicated to road safety, or contribute a red cent for one that does."
What's it about
The DoT said: "It is an undisputed fact that road fatalities in South Africa are unacceptably high and they place an enormous burden on families, society and the economy in terms of lost productive capacity, lost skills as well as pain and suffering of survivors, the next of kin and loved ones who are left without breadwinners.
"'Ingozi' is therefore based on the implicit tenet that if people knew better, they would do better. The show is aimed at the middle income black people between the age group of 25 to 49 years.
"The time slot which the show will be aired correlates perfectly with the demographics of people who are mostly affected by road crashes, which are 80% mainly black, involving drivers between the ages of 25 and 49."
Peters said: "Similarly, the highest number of passengers affected are between the ages of 20 and 39 while pedestrian statistics indicated that those age between 20 and 44 are mostly likely to die in road traffic crashes. While 'Ingozi' will be the cornerstone of our road safety education and information programme, it should never be regarded as a panacea. All other targeted road safety education and information efforts must continue alongside it in order for us to have the desired impact and outcome.
"Finally, it will be pleasurable that 'Ingozi' should also serve as a catalyst to get the private sector involved in funding demonstratively effective road safety programmes such as this 'Ingozi' because together we can do more to save the future of this country."
Click on the pic below to watch the SA "First Kiss" road safety ad
Arrive Alive editor Johan Jonck: "We have always maintained that we should use all platforms available to increase awareness of road safety. An informed road user is a safer road user and a carefully well-directed strategy with the right message can create an awareness of the right decision on the road.
"It is praiseworthy to note that one of the underlying themes will include the message not to get involved in corrupt activities on the road. We wish the producers and cast of "Ingozi" all the best and hope that it will make a contribution to reducing road carnage."