by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH Africans have been reminded of the role mobile phones can play in making travellers safe amid an accident-prone national road network coupled with the upcoming annual holiday season.
Road accidents peak at this time of the year. According to the Department of Transport, some 1 714 fatalities were recorded in the previous festive period which was a 5 percent increase on the preceding period.
The country’s Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) pointed out all South African cellular users had automatic and free access to the 112 national emergency number operated by the country’s cellular networks.
“This easy-to-remember number, which is the same three-digits worldwide, will put mobile callers in touch with the relevant municipal police, ambulance, fire and rescue services in a certain area,” said WASPA General Manager, Ilonka Badenhorst.
Vodacom and MTN furthermore operate a 147 roadside assistance line which could prove especially valuable in the event of a vehicle breakdown this
The service is however not free but enables the caller’s connection to a host of useful road and home assistance services that are to be settled separately with the respective service providers.
In addition to memorising the 112 emergency and 147 assistance numbers this summer, WASPA encouraged South Africans to consult the different app stores prior to setting off on their annual holidays.
“WASPA members, independent developers and a host of other smart people wanting to make a difference have developed many mobile services to
enhance our safety,” said Badenhorst.
Founded in 2004, WASPA is an industry representative body of over 400 members who specialise in mobile content delivery and application
– Guardian / CAJ News