Creating booze-free roads in the Overberg
The pilot Overberg District Safety Plan (DSP) has been in operation for 12 months. Compared to the previous 12-month period, road traffic fatalities decreased by 29,7%. In the priority category of pedestrians, fatalities decreased by 51,6%. In the priority category of children aged 0-14, fatalities decreased by 84,6%. Since the launch in July 2017 of random breath testing (RBT) in the Overberg, five drivers have been arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol. The highest breath alcohol reading was 0,75 mg of alcohol/ 1 000 ml of breath, more than three times the legal limit.
The DSP is an integrated enforcement, education and engineering road safety plan, currently being piloted by the Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW), the Cape Agulhas, Theewaterskloof and Overstrand municipalities, and the South African Police Service Overberg Cluster. It aims to reduce overall fatalities by 33%, and child fatalities by 50%, by 2020.
RBT is about helping to create a safer and more prosperous Western Cape. Individuals who drive when intoxicated are responsible for hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries on our roads every year. This has devastating effects on families, particularly when innocent children and breadwinners are killed. Enormous damage is inflicted on our economy by drivers under the influence. The cost of drinking and driving is counted not only in dead bodies and wheelchairs, but also in jobs lost, roads closed, hours spent sitting in traffic, and police officers and courts tied up with crashes. RBT is aimed at mitigating the risk that drivers who have been drinking will want to get behind the wheel in the first place.
DTPW wishes to express its appreciation to all the law enforcement agencies working to reduce pedestrian fatalities, and motorists for helping to create booze-free roads in the Overberg.