Minister Carlisle: Drager Judgement a "Great Day for Road Safety"
Media Statement by Minister of Transport and Public Works, Robin Carlisle
The judgement handed down today by Judge Nathan Erasmus will save thousands of lives throughout South Africa.
In essence, the Cape High Court has accepted the constitutionality of evidential breath alcohol testing and even encouraged its use, subject to a number of procedural improvements.
We note that Prosecutor Billy Downer is confident that the provincial and national regulating authorities can quickly fine-tune the regulations and procedures surrounding breathalyser technology; we will certainly exert all the pressure we can to make sure this happens soon.
I plan to meet with the Director for Public Prosecutions for a full debriefing on exactly what we need to do to improve our current breathalyser testing procedures so that they are acceptable to the courts.
The Shadow Centres will remain open and nurses will draw the blood of those suspected to be over the limit. We will not use Drager testing until the training manual and other procedures are in line with the relevant regulations.
Our Safely Home campaign, which has already brought about a 14% reduction in road traffic fatalities, will continue, as will our extremely effective Name and Shame campaign for convicted drunk drivers.
This judgement strengthens our resolve to improve the turnaround time for the testing, charging and sentencing of drunk drivers, which is a crucial part of making our roads safer; drunk drivers kill thousands of innocent people on our roads.
Western Cape Minister of Community Saftey, Dan Plato, Had This to Say about the Judgement:
I welcome today's judgement, especially in light of yesterday's release of the crime statistics, which show that the number of drunk driving cases in the Western Cape has increased by 10.2%, with the national figure at 4.5%.
The Western Cape is the only province to, under the banner of our Safely Home campaign, conduct integrated alcohol blitz roadblocks every single weekend across the province. Our increased policing efforts have therefore led to an increase in the number of arrests to rid our roads of drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Driving under the influence is one of the major contributors to fatalities on our roads and we will continue with strong, consistent and coordinated actions to increase road safety in the Western Cape.
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