20,000 drunk drivers arrested

Nearly 20,000 drunk drivers have been arrested across South Africa over the past eleven months.

From October 2010 to September 2011, 19,780 drunk drivers have been arrested. In the Western Cape alone, almost 50 drivers have been sentenced to jail for drunk driving in the past year. Since 1 October 2010, 664 drivers have been sentenced in the province for drunk-driving offences, 47 of whom were sent directly to jail without the option of paying fines or serving another type of sentence. One was jailed for four years, six for three years and the remaining 40 for between six months and two-and-a-half years. A further 12 had their licences cancelled.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has reiterated that road users who disobey the rules of the road would face the consequences of their actions. “We have already commenced with our December festive season law enforcement operations, and we want to warn road users that no mercy will be shown to any person who commits any traffic violation. During this Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, traffic law enforcement will be intensified without compromise in order to make our roads safe. The carnage on our roads must be stopped,” Minister Ndebele said.

Since 31 August 2011, at least 1,760 un-roadworthy buses and taxis have been taken off South Africa’s roads, following Minister Ndebele’s instruction that every bus and taxi must be stopped and checked.

From 31 August to 9 October 2011, 340,790 public transport vehicles were stopped and checked; 1,111 mini-buses, 653 buses and 355 trucks discontinued from use; 58,618 fines issued for various public transport offences; more than 1,478 public transport drivers arrested including 256 for drunk driving, 1,000 for overloading, 75 for excessive speed, 23 for reckless and/or negligent driving and 97 in connection with public transport permits.

As part of the new National Rolling Enforcement Plan (NREP) announced by Minister Ndebele on 10 September 2010, from October 2010 to September 2011, 14,017,190 vehicles and drivers were checked, 5,978,981 fines issued for various traffic offences, 19,780 drunk drivers arrested and 53,341 un-roadworthy vehicles (the majority of which are buses and taxis) discontinued from use.

SA – the Good News via SAPA