Drinking and driving a big problem on city roads

2019-08-28 06:02

KWAZULU-NATAL Department of Transport says road safety is a collective responsibility and it will not tolerate drivers who do not respect the rules of the road and the law.

This was said by Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) director Victor Chetty at a media briefing held recently at the Alcohol Evident Centre (AEC). The centre was built earlier this year in partnership with South African Breweries (SAB) and is equipped with all the necessary equipment required by law-enforcement officials to accurately and efficiently determine the breath alcohol level of a person suspected of driving under the influence.

Since the centre came into operation in March, 446 cases have been undertaken in Pietermaritzburg alone, and 372 of those cases were done using the Evidential Breathalyser Alcohol Test (EBAT). About 70 cases have been finalised in the court and drivers were convicted.

Chetty said they have about 15 to 20 traffic officers who have been assigned to road blocks and dealing with drunk-driving cases.

“We don’t conduct operations every day or every weekend but the numbers show that Pietermaritzburg has a high number of people who are breaking the law by drinking and driving.

“We might not have enough resources but we are doing everything we can to use them wisely. We are reclaiming our roads and bringing back the dignity to our roads. Drinking and driving is on the top of the list of the things that cause accidents on our roads,” he said.

Chetty said the partnership they have with SAB is here to stay.

“It is exciting to have a partnership with SAB. We are working on obtaining proper equipment to enhance the mobile EBAT centres.

Chetty said this would make the officers’ jobs easier as the equipment would be on site at road blocks.

“We are dealing with all these projects for society to be one of diligent law-abiding citizens.”

Chetty said 864 traffic officers in the province are currently receiving training so that they will be able to use the machine as well.

SAB’s Peter Thembani said they are looking forward to continuing partnership with the department in having the mobile evidence centres.

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