SA takes on drunk driving

2011-09-29 08:19

A campaign against drinking and driving will be launched in October, said the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).

"A major, hard-hitting, nationwide drink and drive campaign will commence in October to combat the carnage caused by alcohol abuse," said RTMC acting CEO Collins Letsoalo in a statement.

"We will not show mercy to road users who think that public roads are an extension of their shebeens or pubs," said Letsoalo.

In September 2011 about 100 people were killed in road accidents.

Letsoalo said traffic officers would monitor roads where there had been a high number of car accidents.

As the festive season was drawing near, the RTMC appealed to "fun-lovers" to enjoy themselves responsibly.

He urged parents to arrange reliable transport for pupils attending matric farewells and appealed to companies to arrange drivers for employees attending year-end functions.


  • Carl Muller - 2011-09-29 08:43

    What about the cell phone users that breaks to law every day!

      L_Savage - 2011-09-29 11:08

      Whataboutism alert. Cell phones are a problem, but this article is about drinking and driving. How does some moron talking on their cellphone justify another moron drinking and driving?

  • RobW - 2011-09-29 08:56

    Chrismas bonus? Whey are these traffic officers not doing there job through the whole year? Why do they only get of there arses near Xmas time? They are not interested in keeping the roads safe, just the easy money.

      Simon du Toit - 2011-09-29 12:40

      if you get arrested for drunk driving the fine is the least of your problems

  • Mizer - 2011-09-29 09:13

    What's the point cause their officials drink more than ordinary citezens?

  • Jon_Mogo - 2011-09-29 09:23

    Yea well if only "reliable transport" was affordable. In forways it's just over R100 bucks for an SA cab to take you 5-8 km's up the road! pfft yea right. "It's just up the road so id rather drive, besides 200 bucks there and back is drinking moneyhh" - thats the mentality sadly.

      L_Savage - 2011-09-29 11:20

      Like you say, the mentality is very sad indeed. And childish. There are so many options that someone has at their disposal if they absolutely have to go out and have a drink. The fact that some of these options may be inconvenient is irrelevant. Its not like people "need" to drink alcohol to survive. My answer would be, in the absence of any other reasonable alternative to driving home over the legal limit, then the drinker should not drink. Period. Drinking alcohol when you know you have to get into a car later is a conscious choice. Anyone who lacks the personal willpower to exercise the restraint to not get behind the wheel of a car after a few drinks should not be classified as an "adult" for the intents of purposes of being allowed to drive a car.

      L_Savage - 2011-09-29 14:54

      Now this is insightful. Currently I have 4 likes and 4 dislikes to my comment. In a way my last comment is like a survey, and the question is: Are you a responsible driver when it comes to drinking? The only reason for someone to dislike my comment is if they are uncomfortable with the truth that drinking and driving is an inexcusable, irresponsible and utterly reprehensible action performed by utter morons. The fact that 50% of people are rating me down explains why SA has such a problem with drink-driving. Yes drink-drivers, the truth hurts. Deal with it. If you drink (even a few drinks - ie more than 1 drink every 2 hours) and then get behind the wheel of a car and drive, you are an irresponsible idiot. No excuses. Why not go with a designated driver? If you have 1 too many, why not phone a friend? How about phoning your parents? or a brother or sister? Heaven forbid you should have to fork out a ridiculous R100 to get a taxi to come pick you up. Instead, what do people do? They endanger everyone around them on the basis that the system is somehow unfair. Pfft. That is the logic of a 5-year old. Feel free to downrate at your leisure, but when you do, know that deep down you are probably part of the problem. Hopefully for 1 or 2 of you it might even help you recognise your foolishness.

  • dirk.smit1 - 2011-09-29 11:22

    Well at least they are doing something about it. I am for it!

  • jeremy - 2011-09-29 11:24

    Well it certainly makes more sense than trying to cut the speed limit from 120 to 100. Now how about getting some valid statistics on road deaths, continuing the campaign against unroadworthy vehicles - and cutting the bribery and corruption at vehicle and driver testing centres! Do the hard yards - and the road death toll will start to tumble....

      Slo0th - 2011-09-29 13:26

      Jeremy, just give me R500 and I will prove to you that us cops do not bribe road users. You can also pay me in beer (equivalent compensation.

  • Slo0th - 2011-09-29 13:23

    At least we know when to start shopping for our Xmas pressies.

  • bonny - 2011-09-29 13:27

    Go for it, get the irresponsible drunks off our roads. And while you are at it, please pull off unroadworthy vehicles and dangerous drivers.

  • S9S - 2011-09-29 13:35

    There is lots of things that people do wrong on the road, but to stick to the topic of this article. I drive from Cape Town to my home lots of times during the week and its a 60km drive. Now in the past 2months i've seen some pretty terrible stuff. I always take down the reg number of the car and also call the traffic department. Its usually after 12 at night, so NOTHING happens. But i always follow up on the drivers... The one girl i saw driving almost had 2 accidents and drove over a dog, so i got hold of her employer and apparently they get phone calls about her quite often... She might lose her job. Its just sad that people are willing to go out and drink that much and not care about the other people/families etc etc on the road.

      Validity - 2011-10-12 09:03

      Not that i condone these drunkards on the road but you trying to write a reg no down is also posing a danger to other road user because you are not concentrating on the road or your hands on the wheel.

  • Alex - 2011-09-29 13:48

    What is the relevance of posting the death toll statistic without stating what was the primary cause of them is, ie 90% unroadworthy taxi's, hmmm ?

      Dros - 2011-09-30 14:17

      In September 2011 - 100 people died in ONE day in Taxi and Bus related accidents...drink drive is lethal...Taxi's and Buses are fatal... what proactive measurements are being put in place for Taxi's & Buses like the drink drive campaign for the average Joe.. like lambs to the slaughter innocent victims are being murdered everyday... first deal with these murderers then the average Joe who has 2 beers and declared unfit to drive..sad really

  • TP - 2011-09-29 16:54

    Don't they launch a campaign like this every year. WTF, this place is a joke.

  • Philip - 2011-09-29 22:52

    Drunk Driving - dropping the limit to .05 . Drivers around 80mg or below aren't the problem - those 2 or 3 times over the 80mg limit are - this law will do nothing to tackle them - it will just criminalise sober drivers. I defy anyone to provide a detailed accident analysis of crashes involving drivers under the current 80mg limit. those near the limit are not the problem. It is those that are well over the limit. This a is where there needs to be changes. There appears to be only two motoring offences speeding and drink driving. Nothing else seems to matter. drivers who are using drugs be that prescribed or recreational. . We need to address the people who are driving when above the safe limit. It is not just drink-driving they need to target but drug-driving as well. That rarely gets mentioned. It's important that we don't criminalise unimpaired, sober drivers - particularly 'the morning after.' It'll criminalise those who have swigged mouthwash, eaten a brandy dessert, or had a morning after. Even orange juice has a small amount of alcohol in! There would be fewer accidents if the roads were repaired properly so perhaps we ought to be locking up highway engineers.

      L_Savage - 2011-09-30 17:08

      A bit of fallacious logic here Philip: 1) "Drivers around 80mg or below aren't the problem" Although you are technically correct, this statement does more harm than good. *THE* problem is a combination of a number of factors. Just because one factor does not constitute the entire problem, does not make that factor insignificant. If we used your logic, we may as well disregard all the rules of the road because other transgressions are worse. Research has demonstrated that even a small amount of alcohol can impair a driver's ability (http://www.medichatmd.com/blogs/effects-of-alcohol-on-driving-performance.html. I quote: "impairment..can occur at a very low blood alcohol concentration"). Obviously the more alcohol a driver has consumed, the bigger the impairment. However saying that having 1 drink is ok because having 2 drinks is worse is just silly. Its like saying getting punched in the face is ok because getting shot in the head is worse. 2) "I defy anyone to provide a detailed accident analysis of crashes involving drivers under the current 80mg limit." See above link. Besides, you take the wrong approach anyway. In the absence of hard evidence either way, the benefit of the doubt should err on the side of caution. In other words, a rational person would argue that the burden of proof is on you to prove, beyond any reasonable doubt that a small amount of alcohol has no negative effect on one's driving ability.

      L_Savage - 2011-09-30 17:30

      3) It's important that we don't criminalise unimpaired, sober drivers - particularly 'the morning after.' Oh right, so if I go out and get totally hammered tonight, and tomorrow morning I run over and kill 2 cyclists while taking my kids to school that's fine by you? I do feel sorry for someone in this position (and it has happened before) especially if the person genuinely believed they were sober the next day, and I do believe that when such tragedies occur, that this should be taken into account as a mitigating factor. But the idea that anyone still drunk the morning after should never be held accountable is rubbish. Maybe more needs to be done to publicise this particular issue, but at the end of the day it comes down to people not being responsible. Unfortunately your argument is illustrative of a generally foolish attitude towards drink-driving in SA. If we really want to a make difference, our collective attitude needs to shift from trying to see how close to the "limit" we can get, and arguing about what is a "safe" limit to one of simply: DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE. At all. Period. Finished and klaar. No, it won't solve the problem of people dying on our roads entirely. But it will save a significant number of lives, which, IMHO is a good start. I honestly cannot understand how anyone can rationalise that to protect our "right" to have a drink or 2 and still drive, a few (hundred?) people have to die every year.

  • enlightened - 2011-10-01 12:34

    whilst I by no means condone drink drving under ANY circumstance, I do however have a serious problem with the whole angle of approach. To begin with, I have a couple of questions;1) how many people die in SA every year in drink driving Incidents? 2) How many people are murdered every year? How many Rapes? Whilst I will agree that 1 drink driving death is one too many, my issue is that there is no doubt in my mind that there are probably 10-20 times more in questions 2 and three three than in 1. therefore, the focus is wrong. It can be argued that it is two different departments and budgets that deal with these issues. OK! Then re-alocate funds and effort to where the main problem lies. My personal opinion is that our police force is both intellectually and physically incapable of dealing with serious crime, also, the tsotsies are likely to shoot back.It is therefore easier to approach a dude that has had two beers, whom will most likely apologize and more than likely, not put up any kind of struggle and the mak a big hoo haa about it. Catch a wake up and address the real problems. Only a complete moron will agree with the priorities you have laid out

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