One drink is one too many
The only way to drive safety after drinking is not to drive at all
3rd African Road Safety Conference
In July Caro Smit attended UNECA’s “3rd African Road Safety Conference” at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The vehicle population in African countries is predicted to double in the next 5 years, so proactive and aggressive steps need to be taken to stop the carnage. In SA the economic impact of crashes is 8% to 10% of our GDP, as compared to 1% to 2% in Europe.
Caro presented a paper on “Private Sector & Civil Society Involvement in Road Safety” and discussed how African countries could bring down our unacceptable deaths and injuries. A large poster summarizing road safety practices in the 54 African countries was prepared from the WHO’s Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013.
The most 2 glaring issues are:
1) The lack of best practice road safety laws (highlighted on the chart in bright colours) e.g. either no Blood Alcohol levels, or BAC’s being higher than the recommended 0.05g for ordinary drivers and 0.02g for professional and novice drivers, no seatbelt laws, etc.
2) Poor enforcement of the existing laws.
These posters can be ordered from SADD.Email Kristen.
Working towards the 2nd High Level Ministerial Meeting/Conference on Road Safety in Brasilia in November 2015, SADD also pointed out to WHO and others attending the conference that SADD and the Global Alliance request that activities removed under Pillar 5 (post-crash response) for the Decade of Action by the UNRSC be re-instated.
These are Activity 4: Encouraging the establishment of appropriate road user insurance schemes and Activity 5: Encouraging a thorough investigation into the crash and the application of an effective legal response.
We feel it's vital that they are included, as they are fundamental to our work for road victims.
SADD has invited the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health to attend the 2nd High Level Ministerial Meeting/Conference on Road Safety in Brasilia in November 2015. Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters has confirmed her attendance and we hope that representatives from the other Ministries will attend this important event.
The safest driving rule
The question is often asked, 'How many drinks can I have to be able drive safety?'. The answer is 'None'. The safest driving rule is to consume no alcohol if you will be getting behind the wheel. Also one drink is not the same as one unit. In fact, one drink can be several units.
Alcohol has a negative effect on brain functioning. Physiological research has shown the exact changes in the brain that occur when alcohol is consumed and the drinker then proceeds to drive. It shows that 'alcohol (especially at high doses) causes significant impairment of both driving behavior and brain functionality related to motor planning and control, goal directedness, error monitoring, and memory' (Meda, S. A., Calhoun, V. D., Astur, R. S., Turner, B. M., Ruopp, K., & Pearlson, G. D. (2009). Alcohol Dose Effects on Brain Circuits During Simulated Driving: An fMRI Study).
To many people, however, this advice of 'zero alcohol' is too harsh and they risk their life, the lives of any passengers and other drivers by drinking and then driving.
SADD is not against drinking, rather we are against drinking and then driving. Drink driving is not only selfish and irresponsible, it is illegal. Thus, if one is going drink, one must not drive.
Some people may think they have no alternative. If they go out, they have to drive. But it is not so. There are many affordable, efficient and safe services such as Goodfellas, Roadtrip and Uber and SADD encourages everyone to make use of these services which can collect you from home and transport you back again after the event.
These private taxi services exist to provide safe transport to people who have been drinking. It also is a hassle-free alternative as you avoid having to drive through traffic or battle to find parking.
SADD supporters can also receive a free trip up to the value of R150 with Uber when signing up for the first time by using the code 'SADD15' .
With the number of deaths and injuries in South Africa resulting from drink driving, the chances of you becoming one of these statistics is high. We can reduce these needless deaths and injuries by using taxi services to avoid drink driving.
World Day of Remembrance
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is an internationally celebrated day to both honour the lives of those who died on the roads and raise awareness of these deaths and injuries.
The sad reality is that South Africa's road death toll means that this day is highly significant for many people in our country. SADD works hard to reduce the road deaths and injuries, such as by providing road safety education advice, suhc as that above, but we also offer support to the families who have lost a loved one in these violent and tragic circumstances.
This year in an effort to remember the people behind the statistics, SADD is asking families of road traffic victims to send us a shirt with the image of their loved one. These shirts will be used at SADD's World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims event and donated to charity after the event.
Thank you to all those who have already sent in their shirts and we encourage all these families to send us a shirt so we can use it to remember the human life that was lost and to highlight the number of these tragic deaths.
Please send your t-shirts to SADD by the 10th of November 2015:
59 Francis Staniland Drive
Or contact us: 033 3470103 or email@example.com
Did you know?
Uber appears to have made a significant difference to the number of drink driving convictions in the United States of America.
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) is commemorated on the third Sunday of November each year – to remember the many millions killed and injured on the world’s roads, together with their families, friends and many others who are also affected.
It is also a Day on which we thank the emergency services and reflect on the tremendous burden and cost of this daily continuing disaster to families, communities and countries, and on ways to halt it..