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Drink-drive campaign gets ugly

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ss prisoners2

MEGAN VAN DEN HEEVER

and BHEKI MBANJWA

TO MEN who drink and drive the message is simple yet effective: get caught this festive season and get gang-raped in jail.

The controversial anti-drunk driving advertisement produced for Brandhouse’s “Drive Dry” campaign has been applauded by sober driving campaigners and a prisoner rights organisation.

In an attempt to drive home the annual festive road-safety message, the advertisement’s creators have pulled out all the stops to ram home the message using shock tactics.

They want to scare motorists into obeying the rules of the road by portraying the consequences that have become a reality for many finding themselves behind bars.

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The dark, sexually loaded advertisement shows actors posing as prisoners accompanied by the words: “They would love to show you a good time”, “he’d love to meet you” and “you don’t want to meet these men”. It is followed by the line, “Don’t drink and drive”.

The campaign also seeks to warn women drivers in different ads, albeit with less of a shock factor.

As the festive season approaches, the Johannesburg Metro Police have issued a stern warning to drivers that drinking and driving has been prioritised as an offence for which there will be no tolerance.

JMPD spokeswoman Edna Mamonyane said metro cops would be out in force, making sure drivers were sober, vehicles were roadworthy and that guilty drivers did not try to bribe officers.

“We have been accused several times of being corrupt. This year we will be paying special attention to bribes being made by drivers, as this will not be tolerated,” she said.

“Those who bribe an officer will be fined for both offences, for the bribe as well as the offence they have originally committed.”

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Metro cops in Durban and Pietermaritzburg have also warned of roadblocks at hot spots and other random areas, while the provincial Department of Transport last month launched its name-and-shame campaign which will identify those caught driving drunk.

The Drive Dry initiative was meant to raise awareness and change consumer behaviour by evoking strong emotional responses to the consequences of driving drunk, Brandhouse said this week.

The ad campaign, which was flighted on TV this week, will be rolled out to newspapers and billboards as well as displayed in pubs, shebeens and carwash stations, and it will be available through social media networks.

Golden Miles Bhudu, of the South African Prisoners Organisation for Human Rights, embraced the message of the advert, deeming it “accurate”.

“In prison, an individual is subject to isolation, confinement in a controlled unit, violence, torture, gangsterism, gang-rape, guard brutality, organised black and white supremacy and a life of boredom,” he said.

Imprisonment because of negligence and driving drunk resulted in a “permanent stigma”, as well as having your basic human rights violated.

“The underlying message is to stay on the right side of the law,” Bhudu said. “If you are going to disobey the law, you have to take responsibility.”

Transport department spokes-man Logan Maistry said the initiative to deter drunk driving and road fatalities was welcome.

“A partnership to stop road carnage is long overdue. Through effective partnerships, better enforcement and sustained communi cation, we will address… the challenges associated with road safety,” he said.


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james, wrote

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07:53pm on 8 December 2010
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Folks, we are all missing the point. The scare campaign is not designed to stop drunk driving but rather to ensure a Merry and Prosperous Christmas for the traffic officers. You will need to increase the size of the bribe in order to avoid both fines now. How much are you prepared to pay to avoid landing in jail?

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darkwing, wrote

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05:02pm on 8 December 2010
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Driving under the influence of cell should be punished harshly as well.

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Adrian, wrote

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03:30pm on 8 December 2010
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I feel that the law is targeting "soft Targets" and are too scared to take on the ones who cause the most fatalities. Yes drunk and driving is againsts the the and do not condone it, but on a daily basis I see unroadworthy taxi's and busses on our roads going passed the "LAW" and the officers do not even blink an eye, but will stop you from not wearing your seatbelt. Just this week 15 people were killed when a TAXI plunged into a river. How much do you want to be that taxi was not roadworthy??? Fight the fight with the people carriers, but metro is too scared as they will strike!!!

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Anonymous, wrote

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02:10pm on 8 December 2010
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To all those against the ad: if you were to choose between INNOCENT people getting KILLED on the roads due to STUPID drunks, and those stupid drunks, whose safety would be at the top your list? Because I am 200% sure that this was the reasoning behind the ad.. and i love it!

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Anonymous, wrote

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01:49pm on 8 December 2010
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The ad is disgusting and just shows how desperate our govt is, including their deployed comrades at Drive Dry and Metro Police (Remember a guy called robert McBride?). why don't they confiscate the drunk's car, arrest him, cancel hisher driving licence. They can sell the car to cover whatever exepnses they incurred in trying to catch the drunkard. Where accidents are involved and lives are lost, as part of the punishment, the druk's property should be confiscated and sold to pay for damages to victims, they can also be made to clean up blood at accident scenes for 12 months and do some time at emergency rooms in public hospitals looking after accident victims. Hope they find this useful.

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ET1, wrote

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01:49pm on 8 December 2010
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A while back I drove home when I shouldn't have, and I was actually angry at myself for doing that. I take it easier these days, opting for light beer and drinking water in between. Apart from being saved from a massive hangover the next day, I'm not driving like a swinging or speeding maniac when doing this. However, even then I could still be seen as a "drunk" driver when I'm pulled off, even though I'm not. I don't condone drunk driving, but I do feel there should be a distinction between driving under the influence and drunk driving which, apart from blood tests, could easily be done via physical tests. Taking your wife out for dinner and sharing two glasses of wine might put you over the legal limit, but it doesn't necessarily make you a drunken maniac.

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Anonymous, wrote

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12:50pm on 8 December 2010
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This is a perfect ad, not only for men... but this is reality... and they must be made aware of it...

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lynn, wrote

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11:14am on 8 December 2010
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PAPA wag vir julle almal!!!!!!!

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Rico, wrote

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10:42am on 8 December 2010
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Rape has now been accepted as a form of punishment? Idiotic ...

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TDK, wrote

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10:26am on 8 December 2010
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This is so laughable. Is the ad not encouraging rapes in prisons?

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Anonymous, wrote

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09:47am on 8 December 2010
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Come on people. Cheer up! This add is brilliant. Can't you see the humour in it? It is hilarious. Stop being so serious all the time. Those whom don't drink and drive do not have to worry.

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Maureen, wrote

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12:28pm on 7 December 2010
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@Anon:09:30, I am in no way condoning drinking & driving and believe that all criminals should pay for their crimes. I would however equate this ad to our government being against the death penalty, yet are ok with 'Shoot to Kill'. It does little to actually solve the problem, with destructive consequences on our society, i.e. trigger happy cops and innocent victims etc.

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Anonymous, wrote

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09:30am on 7 December 2010
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@ Meagain, Maureen, Skollie....these are not 'threats', they are the brutal reality. We have friends who are visitng relatives in hospital this week, 4-year-old in a coma and 8-year-old in serious condition and the parents badly injured too....by a drunk driver who walked away from the accident. As a parent myself I won't lose 1 second of sleep about what might happen to that drunken filth in prison! Driving home from friends on weekend evenings we've almost been wiped out 3 times by these scumbags racing around, as far as I'm concerned they deserve anything they get because they put innocent law-abiding people in danger...so until you've had someone close to you wiped out by some idiot, spare us the hand wringing mother-grundy act!

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Maureen, wrote

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08:45am on 7 December 2010
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"Two wrongs don't make a right!!" As a non drinker, this ad is immoral & degrading and to our society! Where are the Human Rights activist? The consequences of this ad were not contemplated?

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meagain, wrote

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03:39pm on 6 December 2010
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oh this is soo sick!!!! why the rape threat?? surely there's a more controlled way of doing things, why don't they see how the 1st world countries do it, oh but then again, cop corruptions is not the order of the day there......forgot about that again. Sick sick sick!!!! blast you ANC!! you make me soo sick!!!!

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skollie, wrote

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11:28am on 6 December 2010
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Drunken anything is a danger. So what they are saying is that all drunks should be raped. Er, the vermin in jail are mostly drunks themselves who got caught for crimes they committed when they were drunk as well. So then rape drunk pedestrians? Drunk schoolkids? Is rape therefore a weapon of war against crime? This is DRC tactics using rape as a form of punishment and justifying it...

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skollie, wrote

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11:22am on 6 December 2010
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While something may be a fact of life it doesn't have to be condoned or used as a terror tactic. Secondly why is there even an alcohol limit for drivers. No beverage alcohol intake should be the norm across the board.

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Marion Friedenthal, wrote

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10:08am on 6 December 2010
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Here's a true story... a young man, about 19, was arrested for drunk driving a few years back. his father wanted him taught a lesson so didn't bail him out. he was gang-raped in the holding cells overnight and committed suicide two weeks later. Scare the crap out of these drunks and keep them sober on the roads or drunk at home... Bar owners should also be finedarrestedhave liquor license removed for selling alcohol to drunks. To my knowledge against the liquor act to serve alcohol to someone who is clearly drunk. Punish everyone in the chain severely. Keep me and my loved ones safe on the road. By the way, prison rape is a fact of life... controlled environment or not...

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Marc, wrote

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08:38am on 6 December 2010
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The issue folks are going on about is that the correctional services admit that these things happen in prison, apart from missing the point of the campaign completely these people need to bear in mind they are not unique to South African prisons. I'll also bet my soul that should one of their loved ones be killed by a drunk driver that they will be demanding prison sentences - knowing full well what happens in prisons.....so don't come with this 'shame on you' bull!

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Marc, wrote

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08:27am on 6 December 2010
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I unconditionally support any attempt at improving general road safety. But for those who drink and drive the penalty should include spending time in accident and emergency wards. That said, drunk drivers are a small part of the over-all problem. Poor dangerous driving conditions, unroadworthy vehicles, and disregard for other road users need to be tackled also, we need to confiscate and scrap unroadworthy vehicles rather than trust that the owners will repair them. Our roads must be kept in good repair. We need car-pool roads to minimize traffic and we need devices that will not allow a car to function unless every occupant is wearing a seatbelt, and why can't we limit maximum speeds on vehicles. The only vehicles that need to exceed the speed limit are the emergency response services. Above all those of us who drive must learn to drive responsibly and adapt to driving conditions.

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