MOTORING NEWS - Fuel prices are set for hefty rises at month-end if current trends continue. This is the word from the Automobile Association (AA) commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.
"It's been a good month for the rand so far, with the local currency picking up around 15 cents against the US dollar, but the basic fuel price has shot up since the start of December, raising the spectre of quite substantial fuel price rises if there isn't a pullback before month-end," the AA says.
"Diesel and illuminating paraffin are the worst hit, with the current data showing an increase of 52 cents a litre for these fuel types. But petrol hasn't escaped unscathed, with increases of up to 34 cents a litre on the cards," says the AA.
The AA says that the increases come despite significant global refining overcapacity, and a slight increase in the world-wide oil supply alongside falling demand. The association also notes the International Energy Agency's comments regarding optimism that an effective vaccine for Covid-19 may accelerate the economic recovery from the pandemic.
"Although the IEA does not expect a significant impact before the second half of 2021, we would not be surprised if optimism over the vaccine has been behind recent oil strength. Further strength might be on the cards if the vaccination plan shows large-scale effectiveness."
The AA has also warned that even though traffic volumes are predicted to be down on previous years, it will still be higher than normal.
"Our annual national road fatality statistics are a national crisis. Even though there may be fewer vehicles on the road this year, it doesn't mean the risks of using our roads has diminished; in fact, we should all be more aware than ever of our roles in ensuring road safety," urges the AA.
Road users should observe the following tips:
1. Have the right attitude on the road, and be courteous.
2.Check your vision before you drive.
3. Obey all the rules of the road, and directives from law enforcement officers.
4. Ensure everyone in the vehicle is wearing a seat belt.
5. Check your tyres (including the spare).
6. Ensure your windscreen wipers (front and back) are working properly.
7. Drink OR drive. If you are going to be doing one, don't do the other.
8. Drink OR walk. Pedestrians comprise the highest percentage of road user fatalities in South Africa.
9. If you are a pedestrian, ensure you are visible at all times, especially at night.
10. Rest well before a long journey.
11. If you're a biker, or riding on a bicycle, wear a helmet.
12. Drive to the conditions of the road.
13. Pack away your mobile device.
14. Take a detour, get off the beaten track, and explore our beautiful country. Make the journey part of your trip.
15. Have emergency contact numbers available.
Road safety is everyone's responsibility, and the AA urges all road users to play their part by obeying the rules of the road.
'We bring you the latest Garden Route, Karoo, Hessequa news'