One beer and you’re out for drivers
The government is aiming for 0% blood alcohol level concentration affluence End of an era as Posen folds
NORMAN CLOETE AND KARISHMA DIPA
HAVING just one drink and getting behind the wheel of a car might be just one too many.
As the festive season approaches, the national Transport Department is considering reducing the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to 0%. If passed, this will become part of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) system, which will penalise drivers for a host of traffic infringements.
Spokesperson Ayanda Allie-paine said the proposal to drop the blood alcohol concentration to 0% is part of a review process, which includes reducing the speed limit, and is among the interventions which have been directed to the Road Traffic Management Corporation to study.
During Transport Month, President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated the legal limit for alcohol in the blood of drivers will be lowered as 14 000 people are killed annually and R140 billion is lost each year.
“We are going to change the law now to make sure we actually bring down the threshold so those who are used to drinking and driving will know that now we are going to be very firm.
“We are going to take strong action because it is people who drink and drive who kill people and we must stop the killing on our roads through people who are drinking and driving,” he said.
Writing in the Daily Maverick last month, Professor Charles Parry, director of the alcohol, tobacco and other drug research unit of the SA Medical Research Council, said “serious consideration should be given to enacting the 2015 legislation reducing permissible BAC levels to zero” as the country “would experience fewer fatalities on our roads, lower insurance premiums, and a reduced drain on the fiscus”.
Caro Smit of South Africans Against Drunk Driving said that while she supports any initiatives to keep the country’s motorists safe, she does not believe that lowering the blood alcohol level is the answer. Smit said that the country’s BAC level was initially 0.08g/per 100ml and was then changed to 0.05g.
“This change has not led to a decrease in drunk driving.”
Smit, does however, believe that the level should be lowered for novice drivers, who recently got their driving
FANS gathered in Durban yesterday as the Springbok team passed through the city as part of their Rugby World Cup trophy tour. | SHELLEY KJONSTAD African News Agency (ANA)
AS THE victorious Springboks arrived at the Durban City Hall yesterday, the crowds chanted ‘Siya! Siya! Siya!’ in welcome. | LEON LESTRADE African News Agency (ANA)
TENDAI ‘Beast’ Mtawarira, who announced his retirement earlier this week, mingles with the fans. | LEON LESTRADE African News Agency (ANA).