A reduction of the legal blood alcohol limit for drivers looks to be on the cards as government forges ahead with various legislation changes.
During a media briefing on road safety, held on Wednesday, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said that several interventions were underway to reduce South Africa's high road accident rate.
As such, the National Road Traffic Act would be amended to reduce the legal alcohol content limit to 0.02 percent for drivers, from the current limit of 0.05.
Public transport and truck drivers, meanwhile, would not be permitted to drink any alcohol.
According to Arrive Alive, the effects of mild drinking can be unpredictable. Between zero and 0.05%, most people show no signs of abnormality while some may already show signs of euphoria with a loss of the normal balance between inhibitions and impulses. However the organisation warns that reaction time at the level of 0.05g% is "already twice as slow as normal" while "impairment of coordination" is already evident at a level of 0.04g%.
Apart from the drink driving clampdown, plans are also afoot to introduce a two-year probation period for newly licenced drivers.
"We need laws that bite and assist behavioural change within the South African motoring community," Peters said.
However, one must wonder how meaningful any of this is if there are no plans afoot to step up enforcement and cut down on the scourge of officers accepting bribes. Surely that would be a better place to start?
Sources: Sapa and Arrive Alive