'Alcohol the enemy of all drivers'
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Transport authorities have slated drivers for continuing to drive while under the influence of liquor, saying 60-65 percent of all road fatalities, specially those over weekends, are as a result of alcohol abuse by drivers.
The department of transport and the Road Traffic Management Corporation have called for drastic interventions and a complete mind-shift on the part of road-users to curtail the carnage.
Crashes have claimed more than 1000 lives since December 1 and left many others injured.
Transport minister Ben Martins said: “Since the beginning of the festive season, more than 2000 drivers have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
“These are people who deliberately ignore the dangers associated with driving under the influence of alcohol and go on to endanger the lives of other road-users.
“Many other moving violations such as dangerous overtaking and excessive speeding at times have alcohol abuse as a common denominator”.
Drinking and walking (jaywalking) by pedestrians is another major challenge that requires urgent attention. At least 40 percent of road fatalities recorded annually in SA involve pedestrians.
Deputy transport minister Sindi Chikunga said: “Law enforcement officers can only succeed in their efforts if they get the necessary co-operation and support from the very same people whose lives they are trying to save: members of the public.
“We therefore call on road users, drivers, passengers and pedestrians alike to play their part in ensuring that we put a halt to any further loss of lives on our roads.”
“No person who takes alcohol in excess and still drives deserves to be on our roads.”
Martins said: “Such people should be taken away to a place where their barbaric deeds won't endanger the lives of law-abiding citizens.”
The RTMC, provincial and local traffic authorities will be out in full force to ensure law and order on our roads and pay special attention to people driving under the influence of alcohol, excessive speeding, dangerous overtaking and other violations.
Speed limits at hazardous locations and on dangerous routes will be enforced through hand-held cameras, fixed cameras, average speed monitoring and through Moving Violation Recorders in marked and unmarked traffic vehicles.
As part of the RTMC's “Woza Retest” campaign, drivers found guilty in a court of law of drinking and driving, excessive speeding and reckless or negligent driving will be subjected to a retest of both their learner's and driver's licences to ensure competence, compliance and rehabilitation if they wish to continue driving - The Argus