The Sunday Independent - - METRO -


THE SAPS has is­sued a warn­ing to driv­ers that they will be im­ple­ment­ing a zero tol­er­ance pol­icy against drink­ing and driv­ing this fes­tive sea­son.

The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO) es­ti­mates that of all the ac­ci­dents that oc­cur on South African roads, 58% are at­trib­uted to al­co­hol and, ac­cord­ing to Ar­rive Alive, re­search in­di­cates that 50% of peo­ple who die on our roads have a blood al­co­hol con­cen­tra­tion above 0.05g per 100ml – the le­gal limit.

Mo­torists should take this warn­ing se­ri­ously as the Road Traf­fic Man­age­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (RTMC) is push­ing for tougher le­gal ac­tion against drunk driv­ers ahead of the fes­tive sea­son.

It wants driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence to be re­clas­si­fied from a sched­ule 2 to sched­ule 5 of­fence and drunk driv­ers to spend at least 7 days in jail be­fore they can be con­sid­ered for bail. If ar­rested, of­fend­ers face a min­i­mum fine of R2 000 or a two-year prison sen­tence – or both.

But that’s not all that mo­torists need to con­sider, said Chris­telle Col­man, ex­ec­u­tive for High-Net-Worth So­lu­tions at Old Mu­tual In­sure.

“The in­sur­ance im­pli­ca­tions for drunk driv­ing are also se­ri­ous and could cost mo­torists dearly. In­sur­ers won’t pay claims if it’s been proven that driv­ers were un­der the in­flu­ence at the time of the ac­ci­dent.

“It (al­co­hol) also im­pacts their risk pro­file and of­fend­ers may find in­sur­ers re­fus­ing to cover them fol­low­ing a drunk driv­ing in­ci­dent, or at the very least, their pre­mi­ums will be very high.”

Fur­ther­more, Col­man said that road ac­ci­dents gen­er­ally in­crease over holiday pe­ri­ods, so even if you are driv­ing re­spon­si­bly, you may still end up in an ac­ci­dent caused by some­one else, so it’s im­por­tant to make sure your in­sur­ance is up to date.

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