Alcohol and roads don't mix

1 December 2020
Department of Transport and Public Works
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As we approach the festive season, we’ll hear jingle bells wherever we may go. This is also the season to be mindful and wise when it comes to alcohol consumption. As we all know, alcohol and roads don’t mix, and it is up to you to make responsible choices about drinking.

The Western Cape Government and the Department of Transport and Public Works have proactively been putting measures in place to promote the safety of all the residents of the Western Cape and all the visitors to our province, and will continue to do so as our roads get busier in the coming days. Our most urgent task is to do all we can to lessen the carnage that is caused each year by reckless and irresponsible behaviour on our roads.

The usual influx of holiday makers will soon begin their journeys to their respective destinations and in doing so, place additional pressure on all law enforcement agencies tasked with maintaining law and order on our roads. Additional resources will have to be dedicated towards effective monitoring and control of traffic volumes, as well as maintaining the laws on our roads.

The safest option is not to drink if you plan to drive or walk near traffic. Crashes involving drivers and pedestrians under the influence are no accident. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests on the bodies of people killed in road crashes show that, whether you are a pedestrian or a driver, your risk of dying in a road crash is higher if you have been drinking.

The consumption of alcohol, even in relatively small amounts, and then getting behind the wheel of a vehicle or walking, increases the risk of being involved in a crash. Alcohol impairs processes critical to safe road use, such as vision and reaction time, and it is also associated with poor judgement and is ofeten linked to other high-risk road use behaviours such as speeding or not using seatbelts.

In the future, through effective partnerships and plans, the Department aims to see a drastic reduction in the number of people either injured or killed on our roads. In order to achieve this, we will be conducting integrated traffic and road safety initiatives that respond directly to the dire situation we so often find on our roads; focusing on the following key areas:

  • combating driver fatigue;
  • driver and vehicle fitness;
  • speed control operations, including Average Speed Over Distance (ASOD) speed control;
  • combating driving under the influence of alcohol and other intoxicating substances,
  • combating distracted driving,
  • combating moving violations,
  • pedestrian safety (because pedestrian deaths account for the majority of all road deaths); and
  • seatbelt compliance.

Drinking and driving indirectly undermines the fight against crime. The more drinking and driving there is, the more valuable police resources, prosecution resources, and court time are taken away from fighting other kinds of crime. Our traffic officers are already visible on the roads in preparation for this festive season. Be safe and remember, alcohol and roads don’t mix. #BoozeFreeRoads

Alcohol and Roads Don't Mix

The focus of our road safety initiative remains avoiding drinking and driving/walking.

Alcohol and road use simply don’t mix, which is demonstrated by the significant role that alcohol continues to play in the majority of crashes that we see on our roads.

Our roads safety initiative, Safely Home, will be running a festive season awareness campaign under the theme “Alcohol and Roads Don't Mix”, with the hashtag #BoozeFreeRoads.

The campaign will specifically target adults, who are the ones most likely to drink and drive, or drink and walk.


Media Enquiries: 

Jandré Bakker
Head of Communication
Department of Transport and Public Works