Buckle up we don't want new members

Over the Easter holidays a number of quadriplegics were deployed at four garages on our national roads encouraging motorists to Buckle Up (wear their seat belts) in order to reduce the number of spinal cord injuries from road accidents on South African roads.

Motorists were approached at the garages by quadriplegics and asked to sign a pledge to Buckle Up and in return they received a licence disk sticker. The quadriplegics involved with this road safety campaign were branded with bibs which identified them as campaigners and helped them to introduce themselves and to encourage motorists to wear their seat belts on their journey.

Motorists happily sign the pledges to buckle up. These scenes at the Kroonvaal Plaza

Twenty members of the Quadriplegic Association were employed for this project and the Association is proud to be part of road safety in their prevention programme. The Association is adamant that if you are wearing your seatbelt and in an accident, your chances of sustaining a spinal cord injury is drastically reduced.

More than 650 people are spinal cord injured in South Africa and half of these are from road accidents. The impact on their lives and the lives of their families, is devastating.

The BUCKLE UP - WE DON’T WANT NEW MEMBERS campaign was awarded the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists “Road Safety Project of the Year” award in 2004. This project is done in partnership with Arrive Alive. This year, the National Lottery Board has funded this initiative through the Association.

The National Director of the Quadriplegic Association, Ari Seirlis says, “We are proud to deliver a road safety programme to the public that not only will reduce the number of persons sustaining spinal injuries in accidents, but which employs our own members in implementing the project. Some of the very own victims of road accidents will be at the garage sites, encouraging road safety to the public.

Too often, charities are seen with their hands out for funds, but in this project we extend a hand to the South Africa public giving something back in the form of an awareness campaign that will save millions in rehabilitation costs and reduce the number of persons becoming disabled. We owe our road users this campaign. Our disability agency makes a big investment in “prevention” and this exercise is a demonstration of our commitment to reducing the number of spinal cord injuries in South Africa.”

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