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With just weeks to go before the Grade 12 students of 2011 call time on their school career, Bridgestone South Africa has raised concerns about the number of car crashes which claim the lives of Matriculated pupils.
Public Relations Manager, Mandy Lovell, said that a combination of exuberance, inexperienced drivers and often alcohol, costs the lives of numerous school-leavers, and leaves others maimed for life and unable to fulfill their potential.
“Bridgestone, along with other motor industry players, feels a deep frustration at this unnecessary carnage. The tyres we make – and the cars they are fitted to – are safer than they have ever been at any time in history. But they are still only as safe as the person at the wheel,” she said.
She said that parents and teachers were the best-placed people to show leadership in preventing Matric road safety tragedies, and said they should be placing special emphasis on the following issues: Children should be educated not to get into a car with a driver who is drunk, and not to drive if they have been drinking; Parents should insist on designated drivers or shuttle services being planned for Matric parties or functions where alcohol may be consumed; and that parents should ensure that children of driving age are properly licensed and fit to drive.
Expanding on the issue of licensing, parents are reminded that, apart from the safety issues, allowing unlicensed or improperly-licensed drivers to drive would almost certainly invalidate the insurance on the vehicle and could expose parents to considerable financial risk.
“As the school year draws to an end, we call on all parents and teachers to emphasise road safety and responsible driving to Matric students,” she concluded.