The road to R100,000 includes simulations of incidents to monitor driver reaction techniques. Picture: SUPPLIED
The road to R100,000 includes simulations of incidents to monitor driver reaction techniques. Picture: SUPPLIED

Insurance group Hollard recently launched its 2019 Highway Heroes competition, which has been staged annually since its 2015 inception.

It kicked off during the Easter holidays and 2019’s competition has attracted 3,213 entries so far. The competition promotes road safety by identifying and rewarding SA’s best long-distance truck drivers, who must prove they drive better than their peers in terms of speed, harsh braking and fatigue driving in their respective categories of Tankers, Tippers, Tautliners and Flatdecks.

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The eventual winners of each sub-category win substantial prizes while the overall winner of the competition bags the grand prize of R100,000. The Hollard Highway Heroes competition is open to any truck driver, who can enter personally or be nominated by fleet owners.

The competition runs until September when the top 50 drivers will be shortlisted to compete for the finale. Tracking devices supplied by Ctrack are fitted to their vehicles and these relay information on speeding, harsh braking and other parameters on which judges base their decisions.

Scenes captured from the 2018 winner announcement where Stephen Meje (on the podium) emerged victorious. Picture: SUPPLIED
Scenes captured from the 2018 winner announcement where Stephen Meje (on the podium) emerged victorious. Picture: SUPPLIED

“Ctrack is delighted to participate in Hollard Highway Heroes since truck accidents are a major issue in SA ,” said Hein Jordt, MD of Ctrack SA.

“The return on investment from implementing a holistic telematics system that is capable of capturing, measuring and proactively identifying driver errors, as well as predicting possible accidents and even loss of life, cannot be emphasised enough.”

Elka du Piesanie, the competition manager, said: “In previous years we’ve measured a 65% improvement in truck-driver behaviour during the competition. That’s huge — and what’s more, the drivers retain their good driving habits long after the competition is over and inspire non-participating colleagues to also up their game on the road.”

Organisers say because the competitors drive better, their employers enjoy lower maintenance and fuel costs, as well as fewer accidents and insurance claims.