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More than 10 000 drivers will be screened for alcohol every month to prevent more road fatalities, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said on Wednesday.
“We have noted with concern that continued lawlessness by road users requires constant monitoring, arrests and prosecution,” he told reporters in Joburg.
“As a result, I have instructed that a minimum of 10 000 motorists must be screened every month for alcohol, and drunk pedestrians must be arrested.”
Ndebele was speaking at the launch of the Think Pedestrian campaign.
“Pedestrians alone account for nearly 40 percent of road fatalities annually, which is preventable,” he said.
“The Think Pedestrian campaign is aimed at stabilising, then reducing these statistics through intensive awareness and education programmes for drivers and pedestrians.”
The campaign, which is being conducted in conjunction with Eqstra Fleet Management and Logistics and the UN, would be implemented in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.
It would be extended to the rest of the country later in the year.
Ndebele said there had been a reduction in road accident deaths over the Easter period, but that this was not enough.
“There were at least 181 funerals. That is too much and it is an outrage,” he said.
“With the standards in other countries it would not happen, and we drive the same cars.”
He said the people who died in accidents were integral to their families and the country, and its people needed to learn from their deaths.
“We are talking about breadwinners, young mothers, young fathers, “ he said.
“There is the saying that it is the living that close the eyes of the dead, but it is the dead who should open the eyes of the living.” – Sapa