In the wake of another horrific fatal accident on the Athlone bridge to Durban North, I would like to make a call for Metro Police and SAPS to target drunken driving at popular sources. Whether the rumours are true or not that the driver who caused this weekend’s accident got boozed up at Blue Lagoon beforehand, Police need to be targeting the sources of our many drunken drivers.
Night clubs and taverns, sporting events and our beachfronts are just 3 sources where I believe we need a special focus. I wonder how many people drive away from rugby or soccer matches over the limit, leave nightclubs and taverns drunk or head off from the beachfront after a day of drinking and braaing. While logistically, such operations could be complex given the volume of vehicles involved, there must be some way of creating a deterrent by randomly testing drivers as they leave the various areas.
Alcohol is said to be the cause of up to 60% of road deaths in South Africa, and we suffer twice as many roads deaths in South Africa compared with the world average. I believe we have a culture in South Africa which needs to change. We need to become used to selecting a designated driver or arranging alternative transport instead of thinking it acceptable to drink and drive. Through vigorous enforcement, Police need to forcefully drive this change in culture.