Pretoria - A trendy new campaign conceived in Pretoria to promote responsible driving has taken social media by storm.
The campaign invites people to take cool selfies while wearing seat belts (but obviously not while driving!). Participants stand a chance to win weekly cash prizes - all they need to do to enter is to buckle up.
“Buckle up, take a cool selfie and post the picture on social media with the hashtag #SafetyBeltSelfieChallenge to stand a chance to win,” said city-based social activist Khutsi Malala. “The prizes include a petrol voucher and cool car hampers."
The challenge was meant to be fun and a quick way to raise awareness by reaching large masses in a short space of time, said Malala. He is the founder of the Clean-Up Squad’s Safety Belt Campaign.
The campaign was a different and fun way to curb and dismiss the notion that motorists didn't buckle up, he said. It was launched in 2015 in memory of Malala’s brother, Kgomotso Mahlangu, and his best friend, Morwakgoshi Tshuwa, who lost their lives during the festive season in a car crash.
“The selfie challenge is meant to be fun and everyone from all ages and all walks of life is welcome to participate.
"Videos are welcome too," he said. "We hope that with this challenge motorists will have a new attitude when in their their vehicles and they will drive with caution,” he said.
Malala said South Africans were well known for driving negligently, texting while operating their vehicles and driving under the influence of alcohol.
The campaign was a way to inspire motorists to be vigilant, drive responsibly by adhering to road rules and avoid drinking and driving during the festive season, he said.
Reaching people and saving lives
Malala launched the campaign in partnership with Soshanguve businessman Kgopotso Mmutlane, who said he would make sure the initiative reached the masses on social media to create awareness on road fatalities.
Mmutlane said: “As a young person, I was disturbed by the statistics of young people dying every year, so we jumped at the opportunity to do something this cool and socially responsible. We can only hope the message reaches people and saves lives.”
Motorists and their passengers are encouraged to upload on to social media platforms pictures and videos of themselves buckled-up, in the campaign which started last week.
It will end on December 8, said Malala, adding that motorists could also tag the Clean-Up Squad on social media when posting videos or pictures.