Web site aims to cut road deaths

By Ricardo Ramovha, ITWeb student journalist
Johannesburg, 26 Nov 2004

The developers of the Arrive Alive Web site will assist the Department of Transport in its efforts to curb road deaths during the December holiday season.

The site, launched in 2003 by advocate Johan Jonck with the aid of few sponsors, aims to create road safety awareness among motorists and other road users.

The site has been developed in co-operation with the Department of Transport, which provides statistical information, media releases and news items.

The developers say they also work closely with other authorities such as medico-legal experts, local and international research organisations and private businesses, which have committed time and energy to road safety as part of their social responsibility initiatives. These businesses include Digicore Holdings, Volkswagen, Clear Vision Optometrists and Chillies Internet Strategists.

Since its launch last year, the Web site has attracted over 1.5 million impressions, but perhaps more important, says Jonck, for any search on Google under 'arrive alive`, this is the number one search result, despite there being other sites such as .com, .net, .biz and .info under Arrive Alive.

"The vision of the developers is to continue with development all the time; we see to it that we collect the best information from other experts in the field of road safety and try to keep updated on new Internet developments."

The developers say their short-term goals include providing up to date news on road conditions (warnings of significant dangers and advice for drivers), safety strategies and other aspects of road safety. The site also aims to serve as a portal from where other information providers can collect information.

The developers also hope to establish an information portal for students to source statistical content for assignments. This could include future access to online drivers` licence tests and general information for tourists on South African roads.

While Jonck concedes that not all road users have Internet access, he says the true value of the site is to make information available to other information providers such as magazines, newspapers and company circulars, and thereby reach the broader population.

"A significant new addition to the Web site has been the development of a section where online submissions on bad driving can be made. The public can register online as voluntary traffic observers and submit reports on these offences directly to the Department of Transport from the Web site," Jonck notes.

The public is invited to send their recommendations on how the Web site can enhance road safety awareness.