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SADD Newsletter

About time: Jail time!

Update on Athlone Bridge Drink Driving case

     
On the 4th March there was finality in the Koobashan Naicker drink driving case, almost 3 years since Gillian Bell, Connor Bell and Carmen Hunter lost their lives so tragically, and Tracy Barter and 2 little girls were injured. SADD was disappointed in the lenient sentence Naicker was given.  Naicker was finally sentenced to 6 years in jail and whilst it brings to an end a very long drawn out process it highlights the inadequacies in our Justice system, and how SADD and the media assisted to get this jail sentence. SADD had asked for an 18 year sentence to be given (The National Road Traffic Act allows for jail sentences of 6 years per victim) as well as alcohol treatment, permanent loss of License or at the very least only being allowed to drive with an ignition alcohol interlock being installed.
SADD was very involved with this case and are very grateful for the media coverage that was given. We held several protests outside the court which were well covered, and believe the exposure and pressure led to the accused admitting guilt of both drink and drugged driving. This was SADD’s advocacy mandate working at it best.
We are shocked at the sympathy and leniency that is still shown to drink/drugged drivers. SADD will continue to support the victims and families of drink driving cases and has very specific, helpful literature available for victims. Please refer those affected to us, or contact us on their behalf and we will contact them.
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Letter to many newspapers following the conclusion of the case
     
“May I through the medium of your newspaper thank all the people who have shown us so much love and support during this traumatic time in our lives? The staff and Mums of Durban Preparatory High School, the staff and Mums of Durban Girls' College.  The State Prosecutors Mahendra Naidu and Rani Govender who handled this long drawn out case so efficiently. A very special thanks to two ladies who I will always be grateful to Caro Smit and Charlotte Sullivan of South Africans Against Drunk Driving (SADD) who were absolutely tireless in their support and advice, who drove to Durban from Pietermaritzburg for most of the Court appearances and, if unable to attend Court, were in communication with me via their cellphones.  The many members of the media who have covered the trial.  Yes our lives will continue without Gillian and Connor but the pain and loneliness will always be with us. Those empty chairs on special occasions will always be a reminder of what could have been. This tragedy is a strong reminder to all of us.  Don’t Drink and Drive.”
Audrey Bell (Connor's Nana Audrey).
Donate to SADD to help us help more families like the Bell and Hunter families
Where is the outrage?
    
From 1st January to 26th March 2014 here are the statistics from ROAD CRASHES ALONE!!

840 people dead; 34 987 people injured; 2 133 people paralyzed.
These are people - loved and missed family members, part of SA’s economic future and not just statistics.

Statistics courtesy of the Justice Project. Click here to view the JP-SA (Justice Project South Africa) road crash carnage counter to see live update of the cost to the nation
        
Where are the funds to stop many of these preventable deaths and injuries?

We need to vote to have this voted on as one of the Sustainable Development Goals -2015- so that international money is pledged to stop this carnage.

To vote for better transport and roads, click here.

 
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Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour


A team of 40 riders made up Team SADD who recently completed the “Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour on the 9th March.

We are extremely grateful to all those riders who raised funds for us – and supported SADD.

Thanks must also go to Alcohol Breathalysers cc – namely Angus and Kevin who sponsored the wonderful shirts, Jaco and Karroo Ostrich Farm for the lovely red feathers, and to John McInroy from the Red Sock Friday initiative who gave socks to all our riders. 
It really was a very inspiring day for all who participated and we look forward to seeing you all next year. 
Some feedback from some of the riders ……

“It was our first Argus. What a blast hey, literally that wind was enough to take the sails out but did it in 5 h 34 and planning to come back for revenge next year!!  Thank you SADD for having us in your team.”  Abiot Gusha.
 
“Thanks Caro and the team, we had a wonderful time yesterday. The wind lived up to its reputation and made the challenge more sweeter.” Bongani Machobane.
 
“I had a great day - only disappointment was losing my ostrich feather somewhere near Cape Point turnoff! Well done all!” Hector Eliott
 
“Wow, what an amazing experience it was to be one of 35 000cyclists AND their bicycles on 9th March in beautiful Cape Town. Must say it gave me a big lump in my throat to see Mike, Caro, Guy and Philli all together setting off, but I knew Chas must be there with them in spirit.  Their loss is something that most of us cannot even begin to understand, but cheerfully and enthusiastically they give, Caro in particular, to try and make persons responsible and the roads safer so others are less likely to face the pain and loss they have to endure?! Thanks to all who shared the Argus as part of the SADD team - our red helmet plumes attracted lots of comments. And thanks to Caro, Charlotte and others who did all the organizing. It was a great privilege and pleasure to cycle for SADD and it was such a friendly team.” Jan Phellans.


Image:from back left to front: Dave Galioli, Wesley Sweetman, Jonny Sweetman, Jan Phelans, Hector Eliott, Conrad Eliott, Guy Smit, Mike Smit and Caro Smit at the start of the race.  


 
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Did you Know?
     

A third of pedestrians are distracted by cell phones whilst crossing the road a study shows.  Texting is the most distracting activity and is as dangerous as drink driving !  The American study based their findings on the behaviour of more than 1000 pedestrians crossing 20 busy road junctions.

In addition – we know that in America (and there is no reason to believe it is any different in South Africa) the biggest cause of death for teenagers is texting while driving.

 

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