GEORGE NEWS & VIDEO - The George Traffic Department held its annual Driver of the Year competition at Eden Meander Lifestyle Centre last Saturday, 21 October, which seeks to raise awareness on road safety.
The competition is organised by the George Municipality to promote responsible driving and develop skills. Drivers from local distribution companies, local and long distance buses, articulated vehicles, vans, rigid trucks, rigid drawbar vehicles and municipality vehicles competed for the first prize.
Drivers were judged by their skill in manoeuvring through obstacles and points were also allocated based on inspection and road tests. The winner of each category received a trophy, and the overall first to third place winners received cash prizes. Eighty-five drivers took part in five categories.
Solly Gysman, a George municipal firefighter who competed in the articulated vehicles category, scooped the title of overall champion, having earned the most points. Antoon Minnie of MTO in the category for bus drivers was second and Gerrit Jansen of Moreki Solutions, competing in the category for vans (LDV), claimed the third overall prize.
The other two category winners were Ricardo Cunningham of Atlantic Oil in the rigid drawbar category and Vusumzi Gaqavu of Interwaste in the rigid truck category.
Congratulating the winners of the event and thanking everyone who participated, George Municipality Traffic Chief Donovan Saptoe said this competition is a proud tradition among drivers and is seriously contested each year.
Watch a video below.
"People often underestimate the skills that are involved in driving large vehicles - the winners in these categories are truly masters of their trade. We are especially proud this year because the overall winner is one of our own. Road safety is very important to the George Municipality and this competition is an ideal opportunity to encourage responsible driving, develop skills and promote road safety. This year we extended the goal to our spectators and introduced a kiddies area where children could ride bicycles and tricycles on road safety mats and colour in while learning about road safety at the same time," said Saptoe.
The event was also a fun family occasion which offered members of the public the opportunity to put on "drunken goggles" and then try walking in a straight line. Mimicking the effects of alcohol on one's sight, mobility and perception, the goggles was an eye-opener about how much one is affected by alcohol.
The event was made possible by the generous support and sponsorship of Eden Meander Shopping Centre, ER 24, De Kaap Meubels, Hino, African Express, EDENfm, Blitsdruk, ISM, Just Water, Kingsley, Safari Braai Products, Atlantic Oil, Golden Harvest, Checkers Eden Meander, GO GEORGE and West Coast Fisheries.
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