NMISA joins Transport Minister on road safety campaign
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The National Metrology Institute of South (NMISA) joined Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and eThekwini Metropolitan Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda on a road safety campaign in Kwazulu-Natal this weekend to create awareness on road safety guidelines through the education of necessary road precautionary measures as issued by the department during the festive season. Nationally, the goal is to reduce road fatalities and injuries by 50% in 2020.
NMISA’s role and support to the road safety campaign by the Department of Transport is subsequent to the strategic collaboration between the Road Traffic Management Cooperation (RTMC) and NMISA in the past few years. The organisation has been supporting RTMC and the Department of Transport to ensure that the evidential breath alcohol analysers are calibrated, reliable and traceable to the International System of Units (SI). To ensure the reliability of the measurements performed by the breath alcohol analyser, the instruments are calibrated regularly in the laboratory by using traceable standards. The test results would be meaningless if the breathalysers are not properly calibrated.
The role of RTMC is to ensure road safety and instil responsible road usage behaviour to improve safety and the quality of life for South Africans. Over the past months, there has been growing concerns about the use and safety of alcohol breathalysers due to the Covid-19 pandemic. NMISA’s role on the campaign was beyond accurate measurement but also an opportunity to address safety usage questions of alcohol breathalysers.
‘’The breathalysers are very safe to use during the Covid-19 pandemic if safety usage guidelines are adhered to during tests.’’, said Dr Jessie Pillay, Acting Director: Chemical, Material & Medical Metrology at NMISA.
To support the road safety campaign, NMISA will be sharing educational digital flyers on its social media platforms to show the relationship between metrology and road safety, traceability, regulations, calibration of breath alcohol analysers in the laboratory, function and operation of breathalysers, and the use of these instruments during Covid-19.
As the national custodian of measurement traceability, the institute is proud to support the Department of Transport and law enforcement agencies through the calibration of evidential breath alcohol analysers to improve road safety. ‘’The responsibility for safe roads are shared between government, business organisations, community groups and citizens. Therefore, do the right thing, adhere to regulations, arrive alive 24/7 and live beyond December”, said Fikile Mbalula, Department of Transport Minister when he launched the 365 Road Safety Programme earlier this month.
In accordance with the Measurement Units and Measurement Standards Act (Act 18 of 2006), NMISA realises, maintains, and disseminates the national measurement standards (NMS) and measurement units for South Africa. The Institute provides for international equivalence of local measurements which are traceable to these standards. In cases of disputes about the true value of a measurement, the value provided by NMISA is legally accepted as the most correct value in South Africa.
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