The partnership between Safely Home campaign run by the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works and South African Breweries (SAB) to eradicate drunk driving has resulted in the launch of the second Safely Home Anti Drunk Driving Operations War-Room (SHADOW) for the province.
The centre was officially launched today in George by Minister Robin Carlisle and SAB Executive Manager for Corporate Affairs and Transformation, Dr. Vincent Maphai.
“We will enforce drunk driving until those who dare to drive drunk have nowhere to hide. Not only that, we will continue with the naming and shaming of convicted drunk drivers. Our goal is to make drunk driving as taboo as it is in some countries.
“Drunk drivers are one of the two biggest causes of unnecessary loss of innocent lives on our roads, and are responsible for countless injuries from amputated limbs to paralysis. Accordingly, we will pursue every possible legal avenue to prevent this heedless behaviour.”
“Our partnership with the SAB to do this is already bearing fruit.
Since the launch of the first SHADOW center at Vanguard Drive we have conducted more than 6 400 breath-alcohol tests. Over 40% of those were all above the legal breath alcohol limit.
“The government on its own can’t and will not eliminate drunk driving. We need partners like SAB to make our roads safer.”
The SHADOW centres are an integral part of the Western Cape’s Safely Home road safety campaign, the primary objective of which is to halve the number of road fatalities in the province within five years.
SAB Executive Manager for Corporate Affairs and Transformation, Dr. Vincent Maphai said that his company was committed to saving lives on the roads.
“While the majority of South Africans consume alcohol responsibly, those that abuse alcohol have a disproportionately negative impact on South African society. We view this as unacceptable,” says Dr Vincent Maphai, SAB Director Corporate Affairs and Transformation.
“We are committed to making a real and positive impact on society and to do that we need to change people’s behaviour. Lower blood alcohol concentration limits and stricter enforcement have been proven around the world to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities linked to drinking and driving. South Africans must realise that if you are going to drink, you cannot drive. Even an innocent drink or two at a family dinner can end up in a criminal conviction,” said Dr Maphai.
The centre, using these Dräger breath analyzers, will shorten the waiting period to achieve prosecutions and eliminate the existing messy ‘chain of evidence’ problems. The Dräger Alcotest breathalyzer machines are able to take an instant and accurate reading of the amount of alcohol in an individual’s bloodstream.
The reading can then be used as evidence to secure a conviction of drunk driving. In practice regular road blocks will be set up throughout George and those whose breathalyzer tests reveal more than 0.24mg of alcohol per litre of oxygen on their breath or those drivers suspected to be under the influence of alcohol, will be brought to the centre for further testing and upon a positive result will be charged with a criminal offence.