ROAD SAFETY: Curbing Alcohol Consumption to create Booze Free Roads Campaign this Festive Season
Traffic officers of the Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) and other law enforcement agencies will have their hands full making our roads safer this December-January holiday period. There will again be a strong focus on curbing alcohol consumption as part of our #BoozeFreeRoads campaign.
The importance of a wide-awake, sober driver cannot be over-emphasised and it goes without saying that drivers should
refrain from using alcohol when getting behind the wheel, regardless of how far they will be driving. Driving under the influence will always remain a very strong focus for our law enforcement and road safety awareness efforts. Too often the role of alcohol in pedestrian road deaths does not get the same attention. More than 600 pedestrians are killed on Western Cape roads every year, 49% of the total road fatalities. Sixty-one per cent of pedestrian corpses tested showed signs of being influence of alcohol at the time of death. Most fatalities occurred on weekend nights.
“The simple fact is that alcohol and roads don’t mix,” said Kenny Africa, DTPW Chief Director: Traffic Management. “Whether you are driving, walking, or riding a motorbike or bicycle, don’t drink. Even small amounts of alcohol can impair your ability to make decisions, operate a vehicle, or walk safely near traffic. If you have friends or family who still drive or walk under the influence, speak to them before someone gets killed or injured. Be a model of responsible behaviour for other road users to follow.”
In addition to ongoing alcohol blitz operations, a special force of Random Breath Testing (RBT) traffic officers will be deployed over this time to stop and test drivers at all times of the day, and at random locations. This effort to curb the scourge of driving under the influence has been strengthened by our Mobile Alcohol Evidentiary Unit. This specialised vehicle is fitted with equipment that can collect evidence next to the side of the road for use in criminal prosecutions.
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