AA calls on govt to curb drunk driving in SA

2015-12-23 06:00

NEW strategies are required to combat alcohol use by road users, reports the Automobile Association (AA).

The AA said: “The current strategy has not yielded results.

“Despite changes in social attitudes, the rate of positive tests for alcohol in people killed in traffic crashes rose sharply in the first decade of the new millennium. This suggests that many road users are escaping both the enforcement and messaging nets when it comes to alcohol.”

The association said that the Department of Transport could not rely on gradual changes in social attitudes to alcohol and road use, commenting that these did not happen fast enough to prevent a substantial number of road deaths.

The AA said that the current level of enforcement was not adequate for the scale of South Africa’s drunk-driving problem. Approximately 3000 cases of driving under the influence are opened each month, against a driving population believed to be greater than nine million.

“A nationwide strategy for enforcement is needed, and every major roadblock should routinely include secondary roadblocks on surrounding ‘back roads’ which drivers may use for avoidance.”

Lack of detailed data was also hampering the ability to address alcohol and road use, the AA said: “An example is information on drinking rates by age group – no meaningful data exists from 2000 onwards which could provide answers.

“Part of a new approach would be to urgently commission more detailed alcohol offence rate surveys to update existing data.” - WHEELS 24

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