Road accidents involving heavy goods vehicles don’t just happen – they are caused, usually by human error. Many of these accidents could be avoided if those involved had behaved safely. Safe behaviour means not only observing the traffic laws but also having the correct attitudes towards driving. Courtesy, consideration for other road users, patience, and good manners are all essential to making the roads safe for all who use them.
In the early 1980s, the Economic Commission for Africa took the initiative by developing an outline for an African Highway Code. The outline was subsequently endorsed by representatives of the African Intergovernmental Highway Organisations.
As professional drivers, those in charge of heavy goods vehicles have a particular responsibility. Phase 1 of this Code is therefore devoted to such drivers. This new guide sets out to explain, in simple and clear language, the basic rules of road safety. It gives clear advice on how to drive safely in a wide range of common traffic situations. It also includes information on how to check that you, the driver, are fit to drive, and that your vehicle is also safe. Other sections deal with breakdowns and accidents, including simple first aid. The last section is a useful reference on road signs and markings, traffic rules and regulations, and the special requirements for international driving.