A Tyre Safety Awareness Campaign has been launched in Malawi and Zambia by the international development agency Transaid. The Campaign aims to reduce the number of road deaths caused by poor vehicle maintenance in Africa by raising awareness of the importance of good tyre management.
The Tyre Safety Awareness Campaign began with a series of training courses directed by the Training Manager at Michelin’s Stoke-on-Trent Head Office, Phil Rochester. According to Transaid, Africa accounts for 10 per cent of the world’s total road fatalities while owning only 4 per cent of the world’s motor vehicles. The problem is also increasing…and in response Transaid has dedicated its Campaign to promoting Tyre Safety Awareness in the hope of reducing the accidents caused by poorly maintained vehicles.
Michelin directed a total of ten courses over a two-week period, targeting audiences which included road safety agencies, traffic police, public transport operators and road transport operators. The courses were designed to provide basic information on safety assessments, focussing on ways to avoid dangers resulting from inadequate tyre maintenance. In total, the Safety Training was delivered to 270 people from various sectors of the transport industry.
Michelin Training Manager Phil Rochester described the relationship between road fatalities and poor tyre maintenance: “Ignoring the basic rules of tyre safety is a major risk factor which is seeing the number of fatal road traffic crashes in Africa continue to rise, in direct proportion to the increasing number of vehicles.”
On behalf of the company, Rochester explained: “Michelin was keen to support Transaid in its campaign to raise awareness of the issues, and we felt the best way to do this was ‘on the ground’ with a series of training courses tackling key target audiences. One of our key messages was to emphasise that better tyres mean safer roads, and safer roads will result in fewer crashes.”
According to the Michelin Manager, the response to the Campaign was encouraging: “The groups we spoke to were incredibly receptive to this message, and were quick to understand the benefits of routinely checking tyre pressures, tread depth and general tyre condition.”
In addition to the support from Michelin, the Transaid project has benefited from sponsorship by companies such as Bandvulc Tyres, who have developed and supplied materials including promotional stickers for the Campaign.
Transaid has promoted the Tyre Safety campaign with activities and advertising intended to disseminate the message of Tyre Safety. Discussions were held with drivers in Malawi and Zambia concerning tyre pressure, wear and damage, in addition to the training courses directed by Michelin.
Having directly engaged over 300 individuals in Malawi and Zambia, Transaid hopes that the message of Tyre Safety will be disseminated quickly. Transaid believes that the regulatory and law enforcement agencies have become more aware of the dangers and impact of inadequate tyre maintenance, and hopes that more frequent tyre inspections will commence along with the enforcement of existing regulations.
The Campaign has affected a wide and diverse audience of road-users, from tyre dealers and repair specialists to public transport operators, in the hope of promoting Tyre Safety understanding and awareness to conserve and protect. The Tyre Safety Campaign has potentially benefited drivers, passengers and pedestrians by educating and training key groups in Africa.