TRUCK DRIVER WELLNESS DAY 29 OCTOBER 2009.
TRANSPORT MONTH CELEBRATION – HIGHWAY TRUCK PARK, Harrismith.
An efficient, safe and reliable Transport system is critical for any economy to prosper and flourish; it plays a crucial role in the movement of goods from one point to the next. The commercial vehicles used to achieve this goal are human driven which demands professional training, a high level of skill and sound physical fitness. The latter requires driver and operator responsibility to ensure that drivers are medically cleared as fit to drive these vehicles on our roads. This action is required to be taken seriously solely to ensure that we keep our roads safer for all users.
Findings from a study by the London Sleep Institute conducted in Harrismith during 2004 has shown that on average 80 percent of long distance drivers are suffering from severe Fatigue. Fatigue has proven to be the biggest cause of accidents by commercial vehicles. It further states that “Driver wellness” is key in reducing fatalities and crashes on our roads. To this effect the Highway Truck park (HTP) in Harrismith has developed a “Driver Wellness Centre” which is a “FIRST” in South Africa with proper doctors examination rooms to conduct full driver medicals, blood pressure tests, eye testing, HIV testing, drug abuse, driver fatigue, etc.
This Truck Park is in the top five truck facilities in the WORLD, largest in the Southern Hemisphere and was constructed at a substantial cost. This facility provides a critical service to the thousands of drivers traversing our freeways daily. The clinic will be operating on a permanent basis, available 24hrs / 365 days a year. The operation of the “Driver Wellness Centre” within the Highway Truck Park is funded by the National Bargaining Council and grants from the Swedish Government.
To celebrate October as the Transport Month, Highway Truck Park and Trucking Wellness is hosting a “Truck Driver Wellness Day at Harrismith, the event being coordinated by AEP&T (Amaphupho Events Productions & Tours). Drivers will receive a FREE medical assessment on the day of 29 October at the Highway Wellness Centre. Each driver participating will receive a free T-shirt with a free meal upon completion of the medical examination.
Interested truck drivers and operators are cordially invited to attend this one day event to witness the official opening ceremony of the “Highway Wellness Centre” by the Honourable Premier of the Free State, Mr. E. S Magashule. Operators are further requested to encourage their drivers to make a stop at the HTP on this day and beyond. Clearly this initiative is the result of formal collaborative efforts between the private sector and Government to make “OUR ROADS SAFER FOR ALL USERS”. From a Long Distance – Truck owner’s perspective the centre’s services are core elements for ensuring that assets worth in excess of R1 million are in good, healthy and safe hands. The operators can contribute towards improving the safety on our roads by encouraging their drivers to make use of the Highway Wellness Centre procedurally and to open Driver Wellness Files to track their medical examination results, book for next check up dates and to collect medication. Just as it is of utmost importance to track the validity of Driver PDP in this industry, driver fitness should also be a priority for operators. In this way not only your assets will be in safe hands, but also everyone sharing lanes with your Drivers.
The Highway Truck Park provides safe and secure overnight parking, also driver overnight sleeping rooms, clean showers a restaurant and diesel refuelling. Well rested drivers will ensure they can continue with their duty fit and healthy having had a good nights rest and having had sound medical advice.
“WE CARE ENOUNGH TO ACT” is empirical evidence to the declaration of “ A Decade of Action for Road Safety” issued by Transport Ministers from all over Africa at a recent conference held in Cape Town.
The Driver Wellness event is sponsored byTrucking Wellness through the generous support of Sida, Dept of Health, N3TC, Engen, Fleet Watch, Nestle and Highway Junction.
Date: 29 October 2009
Venue: Harrismith Highway Truck Park
Time: 12h00 pm -22h00 pm (Drivers)
Time: 4.00 pm (VIP’S)
Contact Name: Xolani Khoza (AEP&T)
Contact Number: 074 135 8453/4