National Driver of the Year competition kicks off

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Polokwane - Over 120 heavy duty vehicle drivers across South Africa are expected to showcase their driving skills at this year's National Driver of the Year competition.

The four-day event, which kicked off today, forms part of the 2009 October Transport Month programme.

"The main objectives of the competition are to prevent and reduce crashes involving heavy motor vehicles and to educate professional drivers on issues of road safety," said RTMC spokesman Tshino Mavhusha.

He said the competition also serves as an evaluation and training tool to assess the skills and knowledge of drivers.

"Heavy motor vehicles such as buses contribute massively to an alarming number of fatalities that the country endures everyday and it is through these kind of programmes that we can make an impact in improving safety on our roads."

He said the 123 drivers were selected through a rigorous process of eliminations from regional to provincial championships.

The drivers will be competing in seven categories, including for buses, 3.5 tonne trucks and truck and trailers. There will also be a special category for female drivers.

The National Driver of the Year competition takes place annually and winners on each category gain entry to participate in the International Driver of the Year competition, which is held bi-annually in different countries. South Africa will host the international event in 2012.

The national competition is also in line with the Millennium Development goal of halving road traffic fatalities by 2014 as adopted by the Ministers of Transport at the 2006 African Union Conference.

Today's event takes place at the Polokwane International Airport outside the city of Polokwane in Limpopo.

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