DANGEROUS EC ROADS
New findings from a survey undertaken by the Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) support previous research that a fair share of the country’s most dangerous roads are located in the province and that the magnitude of accidents occurring on these roads is disproportionately large.
“Knowing that some of the country’s most accident-prone roads are located in the Eastern Cape should make any road user in the province take extra care when out and about this festive season,” said ECLB CEO Gonza Mati.
“We really hope that as the festive season gets underway all road users, pedestrians as well as drivers, take extra care to drink responsibly and know when they are over the legal alcohol limit. Just three tots of whisky or two beers can put you over the legal limit, which is when your blood alcohol level is 0.05g or more per 100ml of blood,” explained Mati.
The ECLB survey found that alcohol plays a role in the number and nature of road accidents occurring on these roads, as well as the extent of injuries and the degree of fatalities. The following roads in the Eastern Cape contribute significantly to annual road accident mortality rate:
• N2 between East London and Mthatha;
• N2 between Mthatha and Kokstad;
• King William’s Town to East London;
• R61 Port St John’s to Bizana;
• R61 Queenstown to Mthatha; and
• R61 Mthatha to Port St John’s.
Women are cautioned to refrain from drinking alcohol during this period if they are planning to get pregnant, and while pregnant. Alcohol intake during pregnancy may harm the unborn baby.
A condition called Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a disability sustained while the unborn child is in the uterus. This condition is directly associated with alcohol use by the mother during pregnancy. Any amount of liquor can damage the brain of an unborn baby.
The Eastern Cape Liquor Board, in the interests of safer and healthier societies, would like to encourage Eastern Cape communities to be responsible and safe during the festive season. The ECLB also pleads with parents to assist in curbing underage drinking by taking responsibility and ensuring that their minors are safe and well-educated on the dangers of alcohol consumption while their brains are still forming.
Lastly, communities are encouraged to report any irresponsible liquor trading in their respective areas. All registered liquor outlets are encouraged and required, in terms of the Eastern Cape Liquor Act, to trade within the legal framework. No person under the age of 18 should be sold liquor, loud music is prohibited within the registered premises, and no visibly pregnant women should be sold liquor.
Watch out for the Eastern Cape Liquor Board’s above-the-line advertising campaigns to encourage responsible drinking and liquor trading during the festive season.