Continental Tyre South Africa (CTSA) is stepping up its efforts towards achieving an accident-free future by appointing two high-profile brand ambassadors for its Vision Zero safety initiative.
Top racing driver and drifting ace Clare Vale, along with road safety advocate Vuyi Mpofu have been appointed as the local faces of Continental’s efforts towards raising awareness for its global campaign to reduce and ultimately eliminate vehicle accidents, injuries and fatalities.
“With more than 1.2-million people killed on the world’s roads every year, including over 15 000 fatalities annually in South Africa, Continental launched Vision Zero in 2015 as an innovative and comprehensive approach to automotive safety,” says Jiminy Bosman, PR and Communications Manager, Continental Tyre South Africa. “This project runs in conjunction with international road safety partners, including the Global NCAP organisation and its Stop the Crash campaign.
Along with the raft of advanced safety technologies available on modern cars such as ABS brakes, electronic stability control, airbags, lane departure and blind spot detection systems – all of which are manufactured by Continental – tyres play a critical role in driving safety, and are an important focus area for Vision Zero.
“As one of the world’s top three tyre manufacturers, one of Continental’s main objectives is to educate the public regarding the importance of tyre selection, care and maintenance. These factors are often overlooked despite being among the leading causes of road accidents, particularly in South Africa,” Bosman adds.
“Clare and Vuyi were selected as Vision Zero brand ambassadors, as both enjoy high profiles and are actively involved in various road safety projects. Accordingly, they will play a central role in all of our Vision Zero communications and events to create greater awareness for this initiative and the overall concept of automotive safety.”
Clare is best known for her exploits in the male-dominated world of motor racing, becoming the first woman to excel in the exhilarating WesBank V8 Supercar series. She also raced in the Shelby Can-Am series, Production Cars and the International Sports Prototypes – so she knows a thing or two about driving safely and the fine art of car control.
Since 2012, Clare has focused on the national drifting series, competing in a mighty 450 kW Ford Mustang V8 with tyres sponsored by General Tire, a brand of Continental. She also competed at the 2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb in a Continental-backed Subaru BRZ, therefore has a well-established relationship with the company.
Aside from racing and running a truck and trailer business in Boksburg, Clare is involved in numerous of other projects. In 2010 she was appointed as a Road Safety Ambassador for the Road Safety Foundation, and a year later as the Chairperson of the Women in Road Safety Forum.
Clare is also a member of the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ), and writes for SA Hotrods magazine and RunRideDive, a sport and lifestyle website.
Vuyi is a self-confessed ‘petrol-chic’ and road safety advocate, having started her love affair with cars, trucks and motorbikes at a young age. After working for several years in the advertising and marketing fields, she decided to pursue her passion for cars in 2010.
This saw the launch of her motoring media portal, ‘Driving in Heels – the Evolution of Motoring’, with a 20-minute slot on Metro FM and online. Aimed at educating, informing and empowering the female motoring population, Driving in Heels was expanded to include motoring lifestyle training events under the ‘Driving Divas – What Women Auto Know’.
Vuyi subsequently started the ‘Gals Garage – Because Women Deserve Better’ project that provides tyre safety workshops, car care clinics and Fantastic Fathers training courses. These are designed to give women and men first-hand technical know-how on the basics of motoring mechanics, thereby empowering them in car ownership and maintenance decisions. Both Driving Divas and Gals Garage training courses are TETA accredited.
Additionally, Vuyi has an active social media presence, as well as a motoring feature on Radio 2000. She is a regular guest on Ignition GT and Buyer’s Guide and a motoring contributor for the Sowetan Magazine. Vuyi has been a judge on the annual Women on Wheels competition since 2011, is a member of the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists and is a judge on eTV’s hit motoring lifestyle series ‘So You Think You Can Spin’.
She was also recently appointed as a Brand Safety Ambassador for Subaru Southern Africa.