Nearly half of the national road fatalities are caused by Drinking and Walking.
If you’ve had one too many, call a taxi. Call a friend. Get home safely. Watch this and make a plan to get home safely!
DRINKING, DRIVING & WALKING
Drunken driving in South Africa is a serious offence and can result in as much as a six-year jail sentence, a criminal record, a fine of up to R120 000 as well as a suspended licence. According to the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA), drunk drivers remain one of the biggest threats to road safety in our country. In the last year alone, more than 21 000 people have been arrested on our roads for drunken driving, and 50% of road fatalities are over the legal alcohol consumption limit. According to Dr Charles Parry of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Group under the Medical Research Council (MRC) 40% of drivers who die on the road have alcohol levels in excess of .08 gms / 100 ml. In South Africa, the legal blood alcohol limit is less than 0.05g per 100ml while the legal breath alcohol limit stands at less than 0.24mg in 1000ml of breath.
- In simple terms, this means that two drinks in one hour will put you over the legal limit.
- If you are planning to drink, the general rule is to drink nothing more than 1 unit of alcohol per hour if you weigh 68kg or more.
- Our bodies can only process one unit of alcohol per hour.
Sadly while South Africa has strict rules towards drunken driving, tough sentences are very rarely given to those who are guilty of the act. Only 7% of those who are guilty ever get sentenced.
Until the laws are more strictly enforced, many South Africans are likely to continue thinking that drinking and driving as well as speeding are acceptable acts.
Aware.org encourages responsible alcohol consumption.
If you’re going to drive, you should not consume alcohol.
Drinking and Walking
In South Africa, pedestrians account for 35-40% of all road fatalities, which can be largely attributed to drivers and pedestrians being under the influence of alcohol.
While under the influence of alcohol, an individual can lose their sense of focus, orientation, and spatial perception.
During December 2017, it was found that up to 60% of pedestrians who were killed on the roads of Cape Town, had alcohol in their system.
Cape Town MEC Donald Grant highlighted: “It is very difficult with pedestrians, especially the ones who drink alcohol. The problem is big in the metro area where people are seen walking on the highways. This has also contributed to the high rate of deaths we have had on our roads. We have seen people walking under a footbridge on the highway and that is the problem. We need to look at spatial planning, because people will always take the shortest route to get to their destination. When they walk drunk, that is even worse.”
Apps such as Taxify and Uber have become popular amongst those who are planning to consume alcohol outside of their homes. These Apps could indirectly save lives, as they have reduced the number of inebriated drivers and pedestrians traveling on our roads.