Ndebele launches DIY breathalysers for motorists

2011-12-22 00:00

A DISPOSABLE Alcohol Tester, a breathalyser that motorists can use to determine if their alcohol intake has exceeded the legal limit, was launched by Minister of Transport Sibusiso Ndebele yesterday in a campaign to curb road accidents.

Ndebele was in Pietermaritzburg to partake in the Decade of Road Safety Campaign that aims to educate communities about road dangers.

The breathalyser device consists of a plastic bag and a tube that contains yellow and white substances. A motorist breathes into the tube that is inserted into the plastic bag. After two minutes a thin line indicates the result on the tube.

Ndebele said the breathalyser will allow motorists to ascertain whether or not they should drive. “This will prevent them from picking fights with traffic officials because they will know their limits before they get into cars.

“If you test yourself and you find you are over the limit, as the device will beep to show you, you should sleep for at least two hours to lower the alcohol levels in your system.

He urged party hosts, taverns and pubs to have the device available to their guests and customers.

The device will be distributed around the country in garages, at stores such as Dischem and at all road blocks for free.

Ndebele said he hoped the device would help to curb the abnormal frequency of road accident in the country.

Statistics released by the Road Traffic Management Corporation showed that, from December 1 to 19, there have been 592 road accidents and 710 fatalities nationwide.

In KwaZulu-Natal, for the week December 12 to 16, 70 people had been arrested for drunk driving, 16 for speeding, six for reckless and negligent driving, five for public transport permits and six for false documents.

“What is happening in this country is not normal. People are killed in large numbers on our roads and already the number of people killed has reached 600, something that is unheard of in any other parts of the world.

“There are 17 000 traffic officers and there are 10 000 000 drivers on our roads. The traffic officials cannot be on top of that entire situation and hence the public should be the police of their own safety.”

Ndebele said next year they will be educating school children about licences and road safety.

In a statement, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) urged passengers not to board suspicious or unroadworthy vehicles.

They said passengers should realise those vehicles are mobile coffins.

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