Move to name drunk drivers welcomed

2010-09-02 00:00

SOUTH Africans Against Drunk Driving (SADD) has welcomed the decision by the KwaZulu-Natal Transport Department to strengthen measures to keep drunk drivers off the province’s roads, including naming and shaming convicted offenders.

This follows an announcement by the MEC for the Department of Transport, Willies Mchunu, that “name and shame” exposure for convicted drunk drivers is to become a reality in the province.

SADD was founded by Caro Smit, an alcohol and drug counsellor and psychiatric social worker, after her 23-year-old son, Chas, was killed in September 2005 by a driver who had been drinking.

Smit said of the Mchunu’s announcement: “We think it is an excellent idea because people are more afraid of having their name on the newspaper than killing a person because they are drunk.”

Besides taking innocent lives, drunk driving also has a huge impact on the South African economy as the country loses about R56 billion due to drinking and driving, Smit said.

“We are grateful to The Witness for allowing us the space to actually name and shame drunken driving offenders in their newpaper.”

SADD has established a good relationship with Western Cape MEC Robin Carlisle, who has already embarked on the name and shame system.

“We are hoping to enjoy a close relationship with MEC Willies Mchunu in our province because we are willing to offer our expertise to his department,” Smit added.


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