Safety on the Road to Sports Stadiums

Safety on the Road to Sports StadiumsIntroduction

South Africa is experiencing a huge inflow of visitors to sports events. The country has been recognized as an excellent host nation for sports events, and international competitions in cricket, rugby and football are attracting many of these visitors. We have experienced amazing interest in the IPLT20, the Lions Rugby Tour, Confederations Cup and the 2010 Football World Cup.

Spectators are always exposed to some kind of risk when attending sporting events. Sports associations and officials have a duty to take reasonable care to take reasonable steps to prevent injury to spectators. Even the mere travel to a sports event poses a significant risk - and it is this risk to safety on the road that we would like to discuss in this section.

Tour operators are well equipped and experienced in providing safe travel to these events. We will in this section focus on all those families, friends and foreign tourists who use their own transportation or rental vehicles to travel to sports stadiums across the country and provide them with a basic “survival kit” to benefit them in their travel to and from stadiums.

Preparation and Pre-trip Planning

A very important part of safety on the road starts with careful preparation and pre-trip planning. We would like to advise that the travel be well planned in advance and focus be placed on the following:

The Route & Destination

  • Carefully plan the route to your destination - A GPS system and a decent map will provide valuable directions.
  • Expect road closures near the stadium which will require that you consider alternative routes as well.
  • It is good advice to visit the website of the sports organizer or stadium to find the exact coordinates or street address.
  • It is better to rather leave early for the stadium than having to deal with heavy traffic congestion and struggles to find parking.
  • Allow yourself enough time to reach your destination, find parking and walk to the stadium.
  • Check the weather forecast before you go, and if necessary, bring an umbrella.
  • Plan not only the route but also the refuelling, rests and overnight stops. 
  • Try to avoid driving at night 
  • If needed, inquire in advance whether disabled spectator facilities will be provided.
  • Your cellular phone is an important safety advice - have it charged & have a charger at hand.
  • See to it that everyone in the vehicle with a cellular phone has the numbers of the others passengers on their phones - This might be important when getting lost amongst thousands of spectators.
  • Add to your phone a list of the most urgent numbers to dial in an emergency. 
  • Mobile websites such as will provide valuable information on emergency numbers and emergency procedures.

The Vehicle

  • Check your car's roadworthiness. Headlights, indicators, stop lights, tail-lights, windscreen wiper blades, mirrors, brakes, steering, tyres, tyre pressures, exhaust system and possible oil or fuel leaks. 
  • Ensure your windscreen is always clean and scratch-free, both inside and out.  
  • Make sure your headlight glass is clean, that the bulbs are in good working order and that the lighting system is properly positioned.  
  • Check that the spare wheel is in good condition and properly inflated. Make sure that you have a serviceable jack and wheel brace. 
  • Do not overload your vehicle with passengers and baggage. The vehicle will be less stable, difficult to steer and take longer to stop.
  • The driver’s control and operating space in the overloaded vehicle is diminished, escalating the chances for an accident. 
  • The overloaded vehicle cannot accelerate as normal - making it difficult to overtake
  • Carry a roadside emergency kit.

The Driver

  • Discuss who will be the driver and possible back-up or replacement drivers 
  • Ensure that all these people carry their drivers’ licenses with them and are aware of the likelihood of them driving 
  • Before leaving, explain the importance of good behaviour and seat belt use. 
  • Start any trip by getting enough sleep the night before - at least six hours is recommended. 
  • If you have prescription spectacles for driving, make sure you always wear them and if you wear contact lenses - have surplus lenses available in the vehicle 
  • The driver must be fit to drive- be cautious to mediation that might have reactions such as nausea, drowsiness, blurred vision, inability to think clearly, reduced coordination and diminished motor or judgment skills - therefore impairing your ability to drive.

On the Road to the Stadium

On the Road to the Stadium

On the Arrive Alive website, we have included information on many aspects of safe driving. We would like to provide some of these suggestions to our sport spectators:

  • Always follow the Rules of the Road and pay attention to road signs and guidance from  traffic authorities
  • Take a 15-minute break at least every 2 hours - Make sure that you rest when you are not driving. 
  • Avoid driver tiredness - sleepiness slows reaction times, decreases awareness, and impairs judgment. 
  • If you feel drowsy, don’t push yourself. Change drivers, or find a well-lit place with plenty of people around (not the shoulder of the highway) to stop and take a brief nap.
  • Prevent sun glare and eye fatigue by wearing good quality sunglasses. 
  • Avoid eating heavy foods. 
  • Drivers should not consume any alcohol. Stay sober or use a sober designated driver!
  • Always use your seat belts and see to it that passengers are wearing theirs and kids are restrained.
  • Keep a safe distance behind the car in front of you. 
  • Adhere to speed limits and reduce speed when road conditions require lower speed.
  • Drive according to the road conditions. Reduce speed when it is raining or the road is wet. 
  • Drive with your lights on - Be Visible!
  • Avoid distractions while driving. These may be from other road users, spectators, roadside activities etc.
  • You might have flags and strange hats and memorabilia in the vehicle - Ensure that they do not obstruct the vision of the driver!
  • Be cautious when driving near construction zones on the road.
  • If you get lost, do not pull over to the side of the road to study your map for directions.  Instead, drive to the nearest, well-lit and populated public place. 
  • Always be wary of pulling over, especially if it is dark or if you are unfamiliar with the territory.
  • Be alert to the dangers posed by pedestrians and animals on the road.
  • Be on the lookout for pedestrians walking at the side of the road with their backs towards you. 
  • Be aware of intoxicated pedestrians - especially over weekends and near informal settlements. 
  • Many informal settlements are situated alongside main roads and have no formal points of crossing or pedestrian bridges. 
  • Do not speed near these areas but be prepared to slow down to avoid crashing into pedestrians.
  • If visibility is bad, slow down - avoid driving when your vision is impaired either by strong rain or the blinding headlights of approaching vehicles. 
  • Don't ever stop to pick up hitchhikers, however innocent, lost or appealing they look. 

In Case of Emergency

Be prepared in the unlikely event of an accident or roadside emergency. Ensure that you have your cell phone available as a valuable safety device. Not only can it be used to find directions but information about an accident can be communicated accurately and speedily and emergency response acquired.

In the event of an emergency call you would need to supply the following info:

  • Your telephone number (to remain in contact with you should you be cut off) 
  • Your location (street name and nearest crossroad) 
  • The details of what has happened, how many people are injured, etc.

This will allow the dispatcher to send the correct personnel from the closest area. In addition, the call takers are able to give you telephonic advice as to what to do to help the injured on the accident scene.

When you need assistance, kindly call the following numbers

Police 10111
Fire 10111
Ambulance 10117
Arrive Alive Call Centre 0861 400 800
ER24 084 124
Netcare 082 911

 If you are calling from a mobile you can also get emergency services by dialling 112.

Enquire before you embark on your journey which emergency services are rendered by your cellular operator and which numbers you might need to dial if you are in need!

Arrival  Parking  Vehicle Safety at the Sports Stadium 

Arrival / Parking / Vehicle Safety at the Sports Stadium

  • Pay special attention to speed limits near urban areas, stadiums and thousands of spectators. 
  • Be careful near places where busses or taxies appear to stand next to the road - passengers might suddenly decide to cross the road!
  • When you are turning, you often will have to wait for a "gap" in traffic. Beware that while you are watching for that "gap", pedestrians may have moved into your intended path. 
  • Be especially attentive around schools and in neighbourhoods where children are active. Drive there like you would like people to drive in front of your own home!
  • The best advice is to park in a parking garage or parking area specifically dedicated to spectators - there might be additional security.
  • Ask marshals or the hosts where you might be staying where the best place to park might be.
  • Try to always park in a busy, well-lit area. Avoid parking in quiet back streets with poor lighting.
  • In the event of an emergency it is imperative that emergency vehicles can reach any person with a life-threatening condition - do not park in a way that may obstruct emergency vehicles
  • Most cars are stolen because they're unlocked. Don't make it easy for thieves; lock all the doors and close windows. 
  • Don't leave valuables inside the car where they can be seen by passers-by. Lock such items in the boot. 
  • Never leave keys lying around on view or in the ignition - make a mental note of where you carry the car keys or inform one of your passengers.
  • Be especially careful when loading or unloading the boot that keys are not locked inside the car.
  • Take note of where you have parked the car!
  • Discuss a plan of action on where to meet if somebody gets lost amongst the thousands of spectators.

The Spectator as a Pedestrian around the Stadium

The need for attention to safety does not stop when you have safely parked the vehicle! Road closures and newly designed stadiums will provide greater pedestrian safety - but spectators might still have to walk a considerable distance along urban roads to the stadium.

We are now finding more and more accidents as a result of pedestrian inattentiveness. Be alert to the following safety advice:

  • Please follow the road signs and directions from marshals to the stadium -they are familiar with the routes.
  • Walk on pedestrian pathways if these are available.
  • Do not walk in the road but on the pavement. If there is no pavement, walk as near to the edge as possible, facing the oncoming traffic. 
  • Never run across the road without looking both ways, and check that there is no traffic before crossing the road. 
  • Never assume that you have been seen - many disturbances might attract the attention of the motorist. Be wary. Most drivers are nice people but don't count on them paying attention. 
  • Drivers need to see you avoid you -Stay out of the driver's blind spot. 
  • Make eye contact with drivers when crossing busy streets. 
  • Do not leave children unaccompanied next to the road. Children should not cross streets by themselves - they are small, unpredictable, and cannot judge vehicle distances and speeds.
  • Do not walk halfway - remain beside the road until both lanes are clear. 
  • Alcohol and drugs can impair your ability to walk safely, just like they do a person's ability to drive.
  • Avoid distractions while walking - Pedestrians who attempt to multitask while talking on a cell phone have a reduced cognitive capacity to devote to potentially dangerous activities such as crossing streets. 
  • On leaving the stadium, be alert to the risk of drunk drivers and drivers who might be distracted.

Safety and Crime

Safety and Crime

Even though there will be a significant number of police and traffic officers as well as event marshals, we need to be alert to the presence of criminals in our midst all the time. We can improve our safety from crime by following a few basic guidelines:

  • Walk confidently, be aware of what’s going on at all times and always keep to well-lit main streets.
  • Keep bags closed, zipped and buckled. If someone grabs it, let it go. Your valuables can be replaced.
  • Don’t be flash with your cash, phone, or MP3 player as these all show thieves you are worth robbing. 
  • Keep your phone hidden, your house keys in your jeans pocket and money in your coat or jacket.
  • If your phone rings, check to see who’s around you before you answer and keep calls brief.
  • Remember, if chatting on the phone or listening to your MP3 player, you won’t hear someone come up behind you. Your hearing is your best defence.
  • Do not confront aggressive or abusive road users. 
  • Try to avoid confrontation but if threatened, shout, scream and run towards a popular or well-lit area.
  • If possible avoid travelling at night or in remote areas. 

 Welcome to Imperial Wanderers Stadium


South Africa has the ability to provide a safe and enjoyable experience to all our sports spectators! The Developers of this website would like to see all our visitors Arrive Alive at all their sporting destinations and would like to invite them to share their thoughts and experiences on their travels in South Africa. Send us your suggestions on additional information that needs to be added to increase the safety of fellow spectators!

Also view:

Road Safety advice for foreigners travelling through South Africa

Road Safety towards 2010 

GPS and Road Safety

How to handle an emergency

Guide to Safety and Driving on Safari