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Drunk drivers and pedestrians warned breathalysers are back on the job

Over the long weekend, the WCGHW responded to 7 454 incidents, an increase of 2 971 from the previous weekend. Picture: Supplied.

Over the long weekend, the WCGHW responded to 7 454 incidents, an increase of 2 971 from the previous weekend. Picture: Supplied.

Published May 4, 2022

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Cape Town - The City’s Safety and Security Directorate and the Western Cape Government Health and Wellness (WCGHW) Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are concerned about drivers and pedestrians moving about the city drunk.

During its road traffic operations last week, the City’s traffic officials recorded more than 20% of road traffic violations were by motorists driving under the influence of alcohol.

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The WCGHW said of the 222 road traffic incidents EMS responded to this weekend, 113 involved motor vehicle collisions and 95 involved pedestrians, with the majority of incidents occurring on municipal roads in the City of Cape Town, Garden Route and Cape Winelands.

WCGHW spokesperson Byron la Hoe said: “Our Safely Home research indicates that most of these road crash deaths are thought to be the result of people walking under the influence of alcohol, pedestrians not taking action to be visible to motorists, and children not taking heed of oncoming cars.”

Over the long weekend, the WCGHW responded to 7 454 incidents, an increase of 2 971 from the previous weekend.

While the City’s enforcement agencies apprehended 327 persons and issued 78 011 fines for various transgressions during the last week of April. Of those arrested, 70 motorists were apprehended for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Safety and security Mayco member JP Smith said the department’s records of drunk driving statistics were not slowing down, an indication that far too many motorists continue to engage in risky behaviour by getting behind the wheel when they’re clearly in no position to do so.

“I want to remind the motoring public that the use of breathalysers was reinstated just over a month ago, after being suspended due to Covid-19. This means that we are now able to increase the number of drivers screened and expedite sobriety tests.

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“There is no excuse for driving drunk if you can’t find a volunteer to be the designated driver, or don’t want to pay for a lift home, then best to stay over at your party venue or stay sober.”

Aside from removing drunk drivers off the roads, traffic officers arrested 46 motorists, 39 for driving under the influence of alcohol and seven for reckless and negligent driving. Metro police officers arrested 186 people. Their Law Enforcement counterparts made 95 arrests and issued 3 245 notices.

“The statistics represent another very busy week for our enforcement services. It’s likely that the combination of public holidays, long weekends and month-end all contributed too, as people let their hair down,” Smith said.

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