Hard-hitting campaign: buckle up, we don’t want new members, quadriplegics group

2009-04-05 00:00

This Easter weekend, while you are out driving, do not be surprised if you find yourself being approached by quadriplegics and paraplegics asking you to Buckle Up or Gear Up.

This is part of a road safety initiative by the QuadPara Association of South Africa (Qasa) to reduce the number of spinal cord injuries in the country.

Qasa spokesman Ari Seirilis said, “We owe our road users this campaign. Too often, charities are seen with their hands out for funds. In this project we are extending a hand out to the South African public giving something back in the form of an awareness campaign that will save millions in rehabilitation costs and reduce the number of persons who become disabled.”

Fifteen members of Qasa have been employed as part of their annual project. They will be setting up on garages around the country and asking motorist to wear their seat belts and sign a pledge to Buckle Up, in return they will be given a free license disk sticker. Motor cycle users will be given a button badge for their riding jackets if they sign a pledge up to Gear Up.

According to Qasa, more than 650 people suffer from spinal cord injuries every year in South Africa and half of these injuries are from road accidents. “The Buckle Up — We don’t want new members” campaign was awarded the SA Guild Motoring Journalists Road Safety Project of the Year award in 2003. This year it has been funded by the National Lottery Trust Fund.

The Gear Up — We don’t want new members campaign is funded by the Steelwings Motorcycle Club.

For more information on road safety awareness visit the Arrive Alive and Road Safety Blog at www.roadsafety.wordpress.com

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