Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire and Wheel Well, a charity which aims to reduce child fatalities from car accidents, partnered in the Telkom 947 cycling challenge on 20 November to raise funds for their ‘Car Seats for Kids’ campaign.
The campaign is aimed at collecting as many used car seats as possible in order to refurbish them and donate to less fortunate families, as child seats are beyond the means of many families. Charmaine van Wyk, spokesperson for Bakwena, says: “We put together a joint team to raise money for this road safety cause, one which is dear to our hearts at Bakwena. The immediate objective of the campaign is to reduce death rates among under-fives. We aim to educate car owners on the hazards of driving a car transporting unrestrained children, as well as to assist families who cannot afford to buy appropriate safety seats.”
Peggie Mars, founder of Wheel Well, says the money raised would potentially save a number of lives, and was therefore well worth the nine-hour ordeal for what were mostly non-cyclists. The team aimed to also raise awareness through its participation in the race, in which approximately 30,000 cyclists participated from all over the country.
The Bakwena/Wheel Well cycling team was 24-strong and raised R10,447 towards the campaign.
‘Car Seats for Kids’ is the flagship campaign of Wheel Well, which earlier this month won a prestigious award from the Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards. These UK awards are presented each year to companies or organisations in recognition of their outstanding contribution to improving road safety.
Mars explains that according to the Road Traffic Act children under the age of three, Infants by definition, must be in the appropriate and correctly certified car seat. Children over three and under 14 years or 1.5 m tall must be in a car seat, appropriate and certified, if one is available. If no car seat is available the child must sit on a seat with a seat belt and if no seat with a seatbelt is available, the child must sit at the back of the vehicle.
“Next year, we invite any other team to similarly raise money for our cause – all help is welcome and saves lives,” says Mars.