January 23, 2021

VOICES | Make Our Roads Safe This Festive Season

The time has come for the majority of people to travel long distances. Most of us will be visiting distant relatives and friends, for festive season holidays.

During this time of the year having a great time is in the air. People are going to celebrate their year-end achievements, or closing parties at work through the pleasure of drinking alcohol. In many instances, this ends up at a cost of losing our beloved ones, as a result of drunken driving.

The major contributor to festive season fatal crashes is alcohol. Throughout the years, the ‘Arrive Alive’ Campaign has been rolled out as a law enforcement drive, to eliminate road deaths caused by alcohol.

Our government has been preaching the same gospel, year-in-and-out. But most motorists just do not care as if life is replaceable. By the way, the government is not even supposed to be lecturing people, about the dangers caused by driving under the influence. 

The fact that one has a driver’s licence, simply means that you do not drive a car under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or a narcotic drug.

According to a report posted on the Business Tech website three months ago, South African Police Services (SAPS) statistics for 2018/2019 were 82 912 cases of drunk driving in South Africa. “However, it should be noted that the number of people driving drunk on South African roads, is likely significantly higher as the above statistics. They only include incidents reported to the police,” says the Business Tech report.

Master Driver Managing Director, Eugene Herbert, is of the view that South Africa is not seeing the decreases it should. He hits the nail right in the head, because more and more people do the opposite of what the law requires.

Most people believe that a new technology that is being developed, called Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS), could reduce drunk driving in the future. It is a technology that would prevent a car from operating, if a driver’s blood alcohol level is above the legal limit. But we should bear in mind that such kind of a system, would only be a feature in the most expensive cars.

So, only rich people would have access to this technology. For me, the only way to curb drunk driving in our country is to not drive drunk, simple as that.

We should stop acting like babies that need to be spoonfed. By abiding to the rules of the road, that will ensure we preserve the gift of life. Therefore, motorists should always stay sober and not drink and then drive. It is better to arrive late than never.

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