Tue | Feb 20, 2018

Road Safety for Speed Demons

Published:Sunday | February 12, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Even as there are many who will cringe at the mention of the word 'demon', there are many in the motorsports world who will embrace the name. That is the thinking behind the involvement of the National Road Safety Council in the National Drag Racing Challenge. Director of the road safety unit of the Ministry of Transport, Kanute Hare, says he and his team are keen on meeting people who have a need for speed right where they are.


Targeted events


"Wherever we can meet with groups of persons, especially young people, we have to go to these particular events in an effort to ensure that we provide them with requisite information that they need," Hare said.

For most of the 2016 drag racing season, the Road Safety Unit was a prominent feature of the event. They were among the number of companies that set up tents set up as attendees went to and fro. The unit also used the opportunity to move freely in the paddock area, where the speedsters were busy prepping their cars.

Race director at the NDRC, Stephen Gunter, says the drag race organisers see it as part of the corporate social responsibility. Hare says his unit is only too glad for the opportunity.

"One of the things that we are happy about is that the drag racing officials saw it as important to include road safety as an integral part of their activities. We take this alliance very seriously," Hare said.

He is clear that one of the fundamental components of road safety is safe road use. The road safety director maintains that and in order for persons to become safe road users they have to be informed. He says the motor sports enthusiasts are always keen to get information that they may not have been aware of.

Hare says he gets the opportunity to debunk such myths as some of the reasons people advance for not wearing seatbelts.

In addition, given some clear indications, Hare is left satisfied at the value of their presence.

"One thing that we are pleased about is the honesty of those we come in contact with. They will come to our booth, and in our interaction with them, they tell us that they just don't know and that we need to help them. They tell us that they got their licences under questionable circumstances," Hare concluded.

He says is aware that the mission of changing hearts and minds among motor racing enthusiasts will take time, but given the lack of information, it is a job that must be done.