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Road Safety and Health

Driving is a serious responsibility with physical and mental abilities impacting on the driving abilities of drivers. It is important that the health of drivers be addressed by the Department of Transport, transport companies and road safety strategies.

Commitment by National Department of Transport

The Department of Transport has recognized the health of drivers as an important element of road safety. The National Department of Transport, in partnership with the Swedish National Road Administration ( SWEROAD) have in the past 2 years focused on many aspects of road safety, including the importance of the link between driver health and road safety.

Although limited empirical evidence is available to prove the impact of HIV/AIDS on road safety – this link certainly exists. HIV Positive drivers suffer from aids related symptoms such as fatigue, loss of concentration and weakness from severe wasting. When negative effects of anti-retroviral treatments like dizziness and nausea are added it becomes evident that road safety will be compromised.

Strategies in combating HIV/AIDS and the impact thereof on road safety

Research has shown that out of a study amongst 320 truck drivers, 60% have suffered from a sexually transmitted infection in a six month time frame. These challenges facing the transport industry have been discussed in detail at a recent conference. Several strategies have been devised to promote road safety in the midst of HIV/AIDS by integrating HIV/AIDS awareness with the National Arrive Alive Campaign and by stepping up awareness efforts to taxi, bus and truck drivers as well as traffic officials. It has been decided that combined efforts will be made to secure universal access to prevention, care and 24/7 for all health factors like TB, Malaria, Diabetes and Hypertension- not just HIV/ AIDS.




Article courtesy of Arrive Alive (www.arrivealive.co.za)


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