Minister warns motorists against drunk and reckless driving.

By Drum Digital
29 December 2013

Acting Transport Minister Benedict Martins has issued a stern warning to motorists who drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol; and reckless drivers.

Martins says data collected since the start of the festive season indicates a worrying trend of people driving drunk and driving dangerously.

"Our law enforcement officers continue to arrest people suspected of driving drunk. This has to be one of the highest forms of irresponsible behavior by motorists," says Martins.

The Minister says such unwarranted conduct leads to the unnecessary loss of lives.

"Breadwinners are taken away from their families when some of these fatal crashes occur. People are left paralyzed with no means of helping themselves because of someone getting excited by drugs and alcohol. We are warning you. Your days are numbered and it won't be long before your misbehavior catches up with you," he says.

Minister Martins says what people don't realize is that you can be criminally prosecuted and successfully convicted for being caught driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

He cited the recent example of a Midrand resident who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for culpable homicide for his involvement in the death of five runners.

"Alcohol was found by the courts to have been a contributing factor in this case. The convicted driver, who was said to be a successful engineer in court records, now faces a lengthy period behind bars away from his family and friends, a criminal record and living with the knowledge of having caused five deaths.

The question to be asked is: Is it really worth it? Is it worth trading your freedom for jail and losing everything you've worked hard to achieve?", asks Martins.

The Minister pleads with pedestrians not to drink and jay walk. He says several pedestrian deaths have been recorded since the beginning of the festive season. Pedestrians account for at least 40% of the total number of fatalities on SA roads annually.

-SAPA

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