Sumitomo Rubber SA Lends Technical Support To RAF / SATMC Road Safety Programme

This Transport Month and beyond, Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA) is supporting a joint programme by the Road Accident Fund (RAF) and the South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC), aiming to ramp up tyre safety education and enforcement across South Africa.

Keith Phelps, Group Training Manager: Truck & Bus at SRSA, has been providing technical training support to upskill Traffic and Road Safety Officers around how to spot risky or illegal tyres that pose a threat to road safety.

This is part of an ongoing partnership between the RAF and the SATMC, where the focus is on empowering officers to better enforce tyre-related laws and regulations correctly and to educate commuters on various aspects of tyre safety.

By the end of the year, more than 1000 traffic officers are expected to have been trained.

Safety successes

Last month, a Gauteng roadshow saw more than 200 traffic officers trained and close to 2000 traffic fines issued for unsafe and illegal tyres during a two-hour education roadblock. In Jozini earlier this month, more than 180 officers were upskilled to spot dangerous tyres. The initiative also included an educational roadblock set up at the Jozini N2 intersection, to educate commuters about tyre safety and ensure that they get proper technical information on their tyres.

A Gqeberha roadshow was held from 12 to 13 October, where around 300 traffic officers participated. Another will take place in Cape Town from 26 to 27 October involving the metro’s entire traffic department.

Phelps takes the law enforcement officers through what to look out for in terms of tyre wear patterns, sidewall damage, retreaded tyres, and more, that could affect the roadworthiness and legality of a tyre.

The training covers 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.

Says Phelps, “Road users need to know the dangers of operating vehicles with worn or poorly inflated tyres, and traffic officers need to be able to identify and weed out unroadworthy tyres and vehicles.”