The Road Accident Fund (RAF) has the critical task of providing compulsory social insurance cover to all users of South African roads, to rehabilitate, and compensate persons injured because of the negligent driving of motor vehicles in a timely and caring manner.
The Fund also actively promotes the safe use of our roads.
Given the burden of road injuries and fatalities in the country, the RAF finds itself having an increased risk of claims from road crash victims. As a result, the RAF identifies and invests in road safety initiatives and marketing campaigns that are aimed at reducing and preventing road crashes throughout the country.
This is over and above ensuring that systems are in place to efficiently and effectively process claims.
Motor vehicle statistics collected and published by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) show that human factor is a major contributor to injuries and fatalities on our roads.
As a result, the bulk of RAF’s crash prevention initiatives focus on education and awareness programmes aimed at changing attitudes and behaviour of road users over time. These are followed by impact assessments which evaluate the success of the implemented interventions.
The RAF’s crash prevention programmes focus on the following functional areas:
Driver Wellness Programme:
Highlights health challenges as a major contributor to road crashes in the country. This is done through a RAF Mobile Clinic where commercial drivers are tested for eye impairments and chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, iron levels and cholesterol. Drivers that do not see properly are provided with prescription glasses at no cost to them.
Since the start of the programme in October 2022, over 12 000 drivers were consulted in the RAF Mobile Clinic and 921 free prescription glasses were issued. Out of the 12 000 drivers, 2 036 drivers were found to have more complex eye ailments that the mobile clinic is not equipped to assist with and given reference letters to consult with specialists for further treatment.
Data from the clinic also shows that approximately 10% of bus, truck and taxi drivers have above normal diabetic levels, while over 20% have above normal blood pressure.
Road Safety Youth Programmes
Implement crash prevention initiatives amongst school learners and out of school youth. The programmes include the RAF’s Comprehensive Road Safety Programme which was launched in 2023. Through this programme, the RAF interacted with learners from 20 schools in four provinces and students from four Gauteng universities.
Thus, a total of 23 000 learners and students who were exposed to the programme. The programme enforces the road safety message using edutainment, an industrial theatre production, competitions, and youth dialogues.
Education and Awareness Programmes
Contribute to reducing the risk profile of drivers and pedestrians through interventions aimed at providing educational programmes that are informed by major causes of road crashes in the country.
The programmes include Defensive Driver Training provided to taxi, bus, and truck drivers; Practical Safety Training for delivery motorcyclists, Cyclists Safety Training for cyclists who commute to work and school using bicycles, and Tyre Safety Workshops for traffic law enforcement officers. In the past financial year 2022-23, over 1 300 drivers attended Defensive Driver and Practical Safety Training for delivery motorcyclists, while over 6 000 cyclists received basic road safety education and reflective bibs.
In the unfortunate event of being involved in a motor vehicle accident, kindly contact the newly improved RAF Contact Centre on a new number, 087 820 1 111, from Monday to Friday, 07h45 to 16h00.
The RAF can also be reached through its offices countrywide, details of which are available on its website on www.raf.co.za.