Friday, October 02, 2020

World No-Alcohol Day

Friday is World No-Alcohol Day. People around the world have been encouraged to give up alcohol for 24 hours on 2 October, in support of the call for more effective measures in all countries, to reduce the high global levels of alcohol-related harm.

According to research by the Road Traffic Management Corporation, driver alcohol intoxication accounts for 27.1% of fatal crashes in the country, costing the economy an estimated R18.2 billion annually. The RTMC says that 55% of fatal crashes happen at night, 60% over weekends, with around 30% occurring during vacation periods.

‘’The issue of drinking and driving is of particular concern as the country moves towards the festive season. December will be the first mass movement to holiday destinations since the start of the pandemic in March. The roads are therefore likely to be more congested than normal, increasing the risk of traffic incidents which could lead to injury or death,’’ says Maurice Smithers, Director at Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance South Africa (SAAPA SA).

‘’This risk is much higher if drivers have been using alcohol, hence the need to speed up the passage of the Bill so that, as Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula promised in June this year, it can be enacted by December in time for the holiday season.’’ Smithers added.

The research also shows that the risk of injury or death to other road users increases greatly if a driver is drunk – pedestrians, for example, are three times more likely to die in a crash where a driver is intoxicated.

This year, SAAPA SA and its partner organisations in other Southern African countries, are commemorating the day with the launch in each country of a Memory Quilt Project. The project will call on families and friends of those who have suffered injury or death as a result of the harmful use of alcohol to remember them by contributing a panel to one or more Memory Quilts. Once completed, the quilts will be displayed at different locations in each country to highlight the need for more effective legislation to manage the sale and consumption of alcohol.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

 

 

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