• Have you ever taught about your car’s safety when you are involved in a vehicle crash? Will you and your loved ones be protected in as far as it is possible? Refer to the article published on pp 14 -16 in Servamus: January 2020 to determine the NCAP safety rating of many cars on SA’s roads.

    Have you ever taught about your car’s safety when you are involved in a vehicle crash? Will you and your loved ones be protected in as far as it is possible? Refer to the article published on pp 14 -16 in Servamus: January 2020 to determine the NCAP safety rating of many cars on SA’s roads.

  • We all have a responsibility to create a safer world for our children – that includes on our roads. Sadly, vehicle crashes are some of the leading causes for child deaths. Walk This Way is a ChildSafe intervention project that aims to address child pedestrian safety – refer to the article in Servamus: January 2020 on pp 34-35 giving more details.

    We all have a responsibility to create a safer world for our children – that includes on our roads. Sadly, vehicle crashes are some of the leading causes for child deaths. Walk This Way is a ChildSafe intervention project that aims to address child pedestrian safety – refer to the article in Servamus: January 2020 on pp 34-35 giving more details.

  • Many people opt to go on a boat cruise for a holiday. Yet, there are many aspects that can affect the passengers and crew’s safety necessitating such cruise liners to have adequately trained security personnel. Refer to the article in Servamus: January 2020 on pp 30-32 about what is done to mitigate treats to such cruise liners.

    Many people opt to go on a boat cruise for a holiday. Yet, there are many aspects that can affect the passengers and crew’s safety necessitating such cruise liners to have adequately trained security personnel. Refer to the article in Servamus: January 2020 on pp 30-32 about what is done to mitigate treats to such cruise liners.

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Ever considered your health and fitness to be a “road hazard”?
Compiled by Annalise Kempen

A lot is being said and written about vehicle fitness and road-worthiness, but what about your own fitness to drive a vehicle? Are you mentally and physically up for the challenge of driving in rush-hour traffic amidst lunatics, slogs, inexperienced and even illegal drivers? If you are a long-distance driver who has to concentrate for hours on end or an emergency worker who has no choice but to rush to scenes, the impact on your health may be even worse.

When we think about driver fitness, the typical aspects that come to mind are that a driver must be able to see properly, and that she or he must not be tired or under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating substance. But what about physical fitness? I am sure that if our physical fitness was a prerequisite for driver fitness, the vast majority of drivers would fail the test. Yet, Arrive Alive mentions that the physical fitness of a driver is often overlooked. In this sense, physical fitness refers to the general fitness of the driver in terms of his or her state of health and well-being as well as specific fitness, which is a task-orientated definition based on a person’s ability to perform specific aspects of sports or occupations (Arrive Alive, Nd).

In the USA, truck drivers who have a BMI (body mass index) higher than 25 (which means that they are overweight) are off work 13 times longer for a worker’s compensation claim than an injured driver with a healthy BMI. In addition, obese truck drivers have twice the crash rate per mile (1.6 km) compared to healthy drivers (Tarrell, 2016).

Professional driver fitness
In the United States of America (USA), strict guidelines are issued for truck, motor carrier and related vehicle drivers to rank and compare carriers based on safety. One of the categories used is the driver fitness compliance Behaviour Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC). In this sense, fitness does not only refer to being fit to drive, but also whether drivers are properly trained as well as mentally and physically fit to drive. This is applicable to any individual, business or organisation that operates commercial motor vehicles. Some of the measurements and events that are considered to calculate a carrier’s driver fitness BASIC include:

  • The results of roadside inspections and the number of violations;
  • the total number of crashes, BASIC violations and adverse safety events;
  • the overall severity of incidents, violations and crashes; and
  • when the events occurred - recent events weigh more heavily on a driver’s score than older ones (Truck Insurance Quotes, 2019).

In order to improve the risks which drivers face employers should focus on the following:

  • Providing education and training about drivers’ health and fitness. Hosting regular
  • sessions about the importance of wellness and eating healthy and regularly while on the road, can improve drivers' physical health;
  • ensuring that all drivers have the ability to communicate in English, even if not fluently. It will help them to understand traffic signs or communicate
  • with the authorities and others in an understandable way; and
  • tracking and checking document expiry dates: both driving licences as well as professional driving permits need to be renewed every five years.

Once AARTO becomes operational, employers should also keep track of any demerit points for their employees which can impact on whether their driving licence is suspended. (Refer to the article published on pp 18-21 in Servamus: January 2020 about AARTO.)

Given the impact of obesity on driver fitness in the USA, Tarrell (2016) notes that truck drivers have to be screened by a health professional on the National Registry of Medical Examiners. One of the issues that is a serious health concern is sleep apnea and measures must be found to test and deal with long-distance drivers. She has the following suggestions for transport companies on boosting wellness for truck (or other long-distance) drivers by:

  • Explaining the importance of the drivers’ wellness - not only on an individual level but also for the success of the company;
  • providing tips in terms of healthy snacks for drivers such as which fruit and veggies are easy to travel with over long distances rather than eating
  • meals that are high in carbohydrates or sugar;
  • the importance of fitting in exercises despite spending long hours on the road as well as of stopping, resting and stretching regularly;
  • tips on boosting drivers’ emotional health;
  • making driver safety and health a challenge and getting drivers’ buy-in by offering incentives such as cash, company merchandise or a holiday for
  • drivers who commit to eating healthy, exercising and losing weight. Drivers who are active on social media can share their healthy habits on the
  • company’s special social media page which can also be used to track their involvement; and
  • reiterating the message of #KeepingHealthy through communication; in staff rooms and on social media.

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: January 2020. The rest of the article looks at what some of the prerequisites are for when a driver should obtain a professional driving permit; general driver fitness and aspects that could negatively impact on drivers’ eyesight and visibility. If you are interested in reading the rest of the article send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact the Servamus office at tel: (012) 345 4660/22 for more information.]

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Servamus - January 2020

It is just after 05:00 in a cold, windy and rainy Cape Town when the packed train pulls onto platform three.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
One of the very sad consequences of every holiday season is the high number of vehicle crashes happening on our roads - not only resulting in people losing loved ones, but also leaving many drivers and passengers seriously injured or even disabled.
By Annalise Kempen
A lot is being said and written about vehicle fitness and road-worthiness, but what about your own fitness to drive a vehicle?
By Annalise Kempen
In South Africa, fatalities due to vehicle crashes are a major contributor to unnatural deaths impacting negatively on our economic development and growth.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - January 2020

Read More - S V Nkosinathi Gama Review No: R40/2019 dated 19 July 2019 (FB)*; S V Bam 2019(2) SACR 662 (FB)*; and S V Phuzi 2019(2) SACR 648 (FB)*
Section 59 of the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 (“the NRTA”) provides as follows:
Read More – Moyo and Another V Minister of Police and Others; Sonti and Another V Minister of Police and Others (CCT 174/18; CCT 178/18) [2019] ZACC 40 (22 October 2019) (CC)
Introduction Certain provisions of the Intimidation Act 72 of 1982 were recently referred to our Constitutional Court (“the Concourt”) in order to challenge their constitutionality.

Letters - January 2020

We salute Brig Mauritz "Happy" Schutte who was born on 4 September 1951, but was called for higher duties to be with his Lord and Saviour, our God Almighty on 9 October 2019, succumbing to the illness of cancer.
There is talk of forcing pension onto members at the age of 55, with no talk of any adjustments for the Public Service Act employees who can still build pension up to the age of 65.
January Magazine Cover

Servamus' Mission

Servamus is a community-based safety and security magazine for both members of the community as well as safety and security practitioners with the aim of increasing knowledge and sharing information, dedicated to improving their expertise, professionalism and service delivery standards. It promotes sound crime management practices, freedom of speech, education, training, information sharing and a networking platform.