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Press Release: Peugeot goes into Partnership with Wheel Well

When a six kilogram child hits the windscreen after the car in which it is travelling comes to an instant stop from just 60 km/h, the force exerted on its little body is equivalent to being hit as hard as possible with a two kilogram hammer. Even when a car slows suddenly – such as in an emergency stop – a child will be flung forward and possibly seriously hurt from the rapid deceleration.

Wheel Well, a non-profit organisation, is well aware of the harm that can come to an unrestrained child, and strives to get this message across to the parents. But even so, many families simply cannot afford the equipment and accessories that make it possible to travel safely, no matter how badly the parents want this for their children.

To this end Wheel Well collects, repairs/sterilises and then redistributes used child seats, and making their task easier is Peugeot Motors South Africa. PMSA have loaned Wheel Well a Peugeot Partner panelvan – which will be pressed into service to ease the logistics which come with this task.

The Partner may appear small on the outside but a massive 3 300 litre interior volume and an 850 kilogram load capacity make it a serious load-lugger, as does the ability to carry a crew of three in a cab which meets all the important criteria in terms of providing a safe and comfortable working environment. A zesty, 1.6-litre powerplant ensures it performs even when fully loaded.

94.7 Highveld Stereo presenters Darren Simpson and Samantha Cowen have also thrown their weight behind the project and urged road users to donate their used car seats and give a child the gift of safety.

“Being a dad to a little boy, my heart goes out to parents who cannot afford car seats for their kids. If you have a car seat that your child has outgrown or is not being used, I urge you to donate it,” said Simpson.

“We hope to collect 1 500 used seats this year, and access to a proper commercial vehicle is going to make life infinitely easier,” explains Peggie Mars, founder of Wheel Well. “The Peugeot Partner is perfectly suited to the task and it is great to see that it has a load of in-built safety features – as you can image, as an organisation we are very safety-conscious.

“It’ll also become a travelling billboard – suitably branded – for our campaign, and will be used for display purposes at malls, schools, and awareness campaigns.

Adds Francis Harnie, managing director of Peugeot South Africa: “Any parent has the safety of their children foremost in mind but it isn’t always possible to control every aspect of their environment, especially in a country like South Africa which is a complicated mix of first and third world circumstances. Wheel Well is a cause which strives to bridge this divide and we’re thrilled to be able to help them – the wealthier suburbs of our country must be awash with child seats that are no longer needed!”

Wheel Well distributes these pre-owned seats for a small donation, and encourages those recipients who get one to put it back into circulation once their family has outgrown it, thereby perpetuating the cycle.

Those who have child seats which are no longer in use and would like to donate them to Wheel Well can do so at Shop U108, Entrance 4, Brightwater Commons, Republic Road, Ferndale.

Alternatively, they’ll send a Partner to pick them up.

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