CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM THE EASTERN CAPE LIQUOR BOARD CEO, MR K.C. MANELI
DRUNK DRIVING CAN BE DEADLY, LET US ENJOY CHRISTMAS RESPONSIBLY!
December is that time of the year when people from all walks of life will be travelling to various destinations to celebrate the festivities of this month with their loved ones, after taking long and deserved breaks from work. Undoubtedly, everyone would like to celebrate during the festive period, but drinking and driving is a deadly risk, which often has shattering ramifications.
Amongst the ubiquitous human causes of road fatalities are alcohol abuse and pedestrian jaywalking. Pedestrians remain the most vulnerable of all road users; in 2016 about 5410 of the 14071 deaths were pedestrians, or 38% of the total number. The consumption of alcohol, even in small amounts, increases the risk of being involved in a crash for motorists and pedestrians. Not only does alcohol impair vision and reaction time, it is also associated with impaired judgement and so is often linked to other high-risk road use behaviours such as speeding or in some instances not using seat-belts.
Road accidents linked to consumption of alcohol are a major but avoidable problem. During this festive period, our message is simple: if you are having a drink, do not drive and do not walk on the public roads when you are under the influence of alcohol; drinking and driving are incompatible! As a passenger, you must never get in a car with a drunk driver; rather report to the law enforcements. Consequences of drunk driving are disastrous, and we urge all the drivers to avoid the sadness, the loss, the grief that accompanies every needless death. Remember that the worst consequence of driving under the influence is that you will kill somebody or yourself. To our liquor traders, I wish to urge them to observe their trading conditions, which include adhering to opening and closing times, not selling to the underage, avoid selling to visibly drunk motorists, and not playing loud disturbing music, among other things.
As we break for Christmas and enjoy time with our friends and families, let us not forget how fortunate we are to live and must ensure that we live to see the New Year. Let us all refrain from drinking and driving and avoid disastrous occurrences that we will live to regret.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD, I WISH YOU A JOYOUS FESTIVE SEASON AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!