Lifting alcohol ban not a green light for drunk driving, says IFP
Durban - While road safety is the responsibility of every road user, it is also necessary to urgently deploy law enforcement authorities 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to curb drunk driving, the Inkatha Freedom Party said on Sunday.
The recent announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on lifting the ban on the sale of alcohol should not be abused or regarded as a nod to drunk driving, IFP KwaZulu-Natal MPL and transport spokesman Steven Moodley said in a statement.
"Drunk driving leads to reckless and irresponsible behaviour on our roads, which often results in road fatalities. Driving under the influence of alcohol has proven disastrous for many families, with innocent people becoming just another road death statistic on our province's roads," he said.
The IFP urged law enforcement agencies to step up efforts in apprehending those who disregarded the rules of the road. Drunk drivers should be dealt with swiftly and effectively, sending a strong message to others.
"We are of the view that those guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol should be jailed for a long period and, where their behaviour has resulted in a fatality, they should serve a life sentence. The current penalties do not seem to deter drunk driving," Moodley said.
Removing drunk drivers from the roads was an important step in minimising road carnage and fatalities. He called on the road traffic inspectorate to become more visible and proactive in the collective fight to curb road deaths. Vigilance and awareness could not only be exercised during festive periods.
"The IFP believes that road safety is the responsibility of every road user. However, we also reiterate our call for the urgent deployment of traffic officers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It has been shown that many accidents happen at night when there are no traffic officers. Police visibility on our roads is paramount if we are to deal decisively and effectively with reckless and irresponsible road behaviour," Moodley said.
- African News Agency (ANA)