Safely Home Launches #BoozeFreeRoads Campaign over the Festive Season
Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
Safely Home has launched a multimedia campaign focussed on the dangers associated with alcohol and road use, titled “Alcohol and the Road Don’t Mix”.
The campaign went live on the Safely Home website, twitter hashtag #BoozeFreeRoads, and is supported by radio advertisements on various leading radio stations, and VMS message board messages on busy highways.
#BoozeFreeRoads was specifically targeted at both motorists and pedestrians, with drinking and driving, as well as drinking and walking, both proving to be a deadly combination on our roads.
Through our evidence-based approach to road safety, our data has shown that drinking and walking adversely affects poorer communities, and causes as many deaths as drinking and driving while receiving far less attention. Research has found alcohol to have been involved in many pedestrian deaths.
Mabunda et al’s 2007 Research found that:
- Alcohol was present in 58% of pedestrian fatalities where blood was tested.
- Alcohol was present in 90% of male pedestrians killed at night.
- Pedestrian fatalities are most common between 6pm and midnight.
- Pedestrian fatalities increase through the course of the week, peaking on Saturday nights and in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The drinking and driving campaign was based on the fact that alcohol also plays a causal role in a large proportion of fatal crashes. Before they even have their first drink, drivers make a decision that they are going to drink and drive. Thus when they kill someone, or go to jail, or end up dead themselves, it is not a coincidence.
The campaign thus carried the important message “It’s no accident”. The campaign will run throughout the festive season, reaching thousands of listeners in a bid to encourage them to adopt safer road use practices that we know will save hundreds of lives on our roads in the Western Cape.
In addition to #BoozeFreeRoads we are also running a Public Service Announcement (PSA) about our “Number Plate Recognition Safety Cameras”, which are now in place throughout the province as part of the Average Speed Over Distance network, and will immediately pick up if there are any transgressions associated with the vehicle.
The PSAs are being broadcast across the Western Cape in three languages, and were recorded by our Provincial Traffic Chief, Mr Kenny Africa. The aim of these PSAs is to send a clear message to all road users, encouraging them to be vigilant about checking their vehicle roadworthy status, driver and vehicle licensing, etc. before taking to the road on their various journeys. Ensuring that your vehicle is in a proper condition to take to the roads also improves safety. We will be dedicating additional enforcement resources to arrest any transgressors picked up by the system.
We call on all road users to work with us over the festive season in improving safety on our roads, and ultimately saving lives. This period is supposed to be a joyous time spent with family and friends.
Do not let reckless and irresponsible behaviour cast a deadly shadow over this festive season.
Listen: Number Plate Recognition Safety Cameras PSA