Peters' road map for safer roads
LAWS THAT COUNT: The ANC government is trying to cut drivers' legal blood alcohol levels while issues such as forged licences should be targeted, as in the case of the Pinetown crash driver earlier in September (above). Image: Youtube
CAPE TOWN, South Africa - The ANC government is forging ahead with legislation to make criminals out of thousands more South African road users - while likely doing nothing to cut the road death toll.
National transport minister Dipuo Peters announced to the news media on Wednesday that several interventions were under way to reduce injuries and death on South African roads. Among these "interventions" are amendments to the National Road Traffic Act relating to drinking and driving - and newly qualified drivers.
'LAWS THAT BITE'
"These include amendments... to introduce a two-year probation period for first-time applicants of driver's licences (we think she means newly qualified drivers) and the reduction of the legal alcohol content limit to 0.02% for drivers," Peters said.
Public transport and freight drivers, however, will not be allowed to drive with ANY alcohol in their blood.
"We need laws that bite to assist behavioral change within the South African motoring community," Peters said. "Behaviour that is inconsistent with the law must attract the necessary penalties."
WHAT WE SAY...
Wheels24 says: South Africa already has traffic "laws that bite", particularly for driving under the influence of alcohol. It also has them for rape and murder and we are world champions at both. It is not "interventions" that are needed but education through TV, print, radio and electronic media and adequate policing.
Turning citizens into criminals for having a glass of wine over lunch will do zero to reduce the nation's horrendous road-death toll - estimated in some quarters to be 20 000 a year. And other countries have already learned that zero alcohol can easily be compromised by over-the-counter medicines that drivers might well think are harmless.
Peters also seems to have forgotten that a huge proportion of drivers on South African roads have NEVER SAT A DRIVING TEST and use forged licences - as apparently was the case of the young man in the recent Pinetown truck crash horror. Or promised the owners of unroadworthy buses and taxis and trucks - the main causes of death on our highways - will go to jail.
And do we hear anything about introducing huge penalties for police and traffic cops found guilty of corruption on the roads, at driving test centres and at courts? Ms Peters, sir, your "interventions" will have no effect on the death rate. You have suggested nothing new, nothing that will inspire public co-operation. You have already failed.
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