Drunk Driving is Not an Accident but a Choice!
2013 Statistics shows that death by drunk drivers has now increased to nearly 12,000 deaths per year. “Global Status Report on Road Safety” 2013 by WHO, give the following results for Africa:
Mozambique 18.5; Malawi 19.5; Angola 23.1; Zambia 23.8; Botswana 20.8; Namibia 25; SOUTH AFRICA 31.9; Nigeria 33.7
Suggestions by SADD (South Africans against Drunk Driving) to solve the problem:
- More random alcohol testing – morning, noon and night- 24 hrs-every day of the week- all year- and not just at holiday periods.
- Establishment of “Drunk Driving Courts” to be implemented so that drunk drivers are tried and sentenced within 1 month of the incident.
- All convicted drunk drivers to automatically have License removed and be sent for alcohol education and/or treatment with properly trained addiction counselors.
- Every driver to be tested for alcohol or drugs at every crash scene, and for all SAPS and Traffic Police to have screening breathalyzers in their vehicles.
- Traffic Officers to be on duty 24/7 and especially at night and weekends when most accidents happen.
Speech by Transport Minister Martins before the National Council of Provinces 23.5.13
Excerpts from this speech regarding road crashes:
In South Africa, approximately 40 people die every day due to road crashes and this adds up to approximately 14000 people dying annually. Road fatalities result in a huge socio-economic cost, estimated at R306 billion per annum.
There are various contributory factors behind this; these include reckless and negligent human behavior, defective motor vehicle conditions, road and environmental conditions.
Amongst the most prevalent human causes are alcohol abuse, pedestrian jaywalking on the road, passengers and drivers not using safety belts, excessive speed too high for circumstances, dangerous overtaking and driver fatigue.
There are many vehicles on our roads that are not in a roadworthy condition, yet these have been issued with roadworthy certificates due to fraud and corruption at some of the testing stations.
The level of our success in reducing road fatalities will depend on the role played by all stakeholders and communities. Hence we will continue with the public education and awareness programs, while at the same time, strengthening law enforcement measures.