Help for crash victims’ families

2014-01-10 00:00

COMMENTING on the national death toll, Caro Smit of South Africans Against Drunk Drivers (SADD), based in Pietermaritzburg, yesterday asked for both drivers to be tested at every crash scene, no matter how minor the damage is.

She said this is done in most first world countries and helps to pick up drivers that have been drinking, adding, “In SA the accused tends to get more support than the victims”.

Smit asked the families of those involved in fatal crashes where alcohol had been involved to contact SADD, so they can assist with emotional support and support with the court cases.

“These are real people, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles and friends; pillars of our society and breadwinners,” said Smit.

She said the death toll of 1 376 is likely to increase. “We tend to forget the 20 to 30 people who are injured for every person who dies. SADD work with the United Nations and World Health Organisation (WHO) and they have asked us to highlight the cost of injuries.”

Smit said 845 road blocks around the country over 37 days comes to only 23 road blocks daily around the country, “and SADD say this is simply not enough”.

“We need every town, dorpie and city to breathalyse people every single day and night, and not just over weekends.”

She said given the “appalling lack of law enforcement, and consequences with regards to seat belt use, speeding and drink driving, there is no reason to believe that our road deaths will do anything but escalate over the next few years, unless drastic measures are taken”.

“What is required now is strong political will on the part of the South African government to address this crisis. A national strategy incorporating the departments of Health, Justice, Transport and Social Development is vital if we are to move forward with addressing the crisis that we face in South Africa as related to road crashes.”

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