Ubuthakathi campaign promotes responsible drinking behaviour
Over the last few days, commuters in Cape Town, Bellville, Grabouw, Caledon, Hermanus, Khayelitsha, Beaufort West and Atlantis have been shocked to come across an apparently badly injured man, staggering along with a beer bottle in his hand. The man was an actor who had been made up to appear cut and bruised with his shirt soaked in realistic-looking blood.
This dramatic series of road safety activation events was staged by the Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) to raise awareness of the dangers of walking near traffic while under the influence of alcohol. The events form part of the Ubuthakathi campaign launched earlier this month under the theme “alcohol and roads don’t mix”. A similar event will take place in Worcester today and the final one in Mbekweni (Paarl) tomorrow.
More than 600 pedestrians are killed on Western Cape roads every year. Alcohol is a constant danger on the province’s roads and is claiming the lives of hundreds of our young men in the prime of their lives, whether they are drinking and driving, or walking on busy roads when they are incapacitated. Road death statistics show that black African and coloured males aged 19-29 years are most at risk.
Over this festive period we really encourage people to walk safe and to ensure that they are visible. Don’t wear dark clothing especially after sunset and ensure that you walk facing oncoming traffic. Be vigilant when crossing a road; look right, look left and look right again. It’s hard to judge the speed of oncoming traffic. It only takes one slip to land under an oncoming vehicle. And better still, take a bus or taxi home or stay at friends until you feel in control.
DTPW and its partners are hoping that the campaign will make drivers and pedestrians more aware of the negative impacts of alcohol on judgement, and the hazards of mixing alcohol and roads. Through education, enforcement, engineering and evaluation, DTPW acts to reduce the number of road fatalities and injuries. We encourage all road users to behave in a way that makes our roads safer.