Cosatu says the proposed amendment banning drinking and driving is progressive, long overdue and should be enforced ruthlessly, reports Cape Argus.
Officials from the Department of Transport briefed the Portfolio Committee on Transport on responses received during the public participation processes in relation to the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill. Section 65 was introduced with an amendment to reduce the blood or breath alcohol content (BAC) in a blood specimen from 0.05g per 100ml to a proposed 0.02g per 100ml for professional drivers; from 0.24 to 0.10mg in the breath specimen of general vehicle drivers; and from 0.10 to 0.00mg per 1 000ml.
The department’s chief director of road regulation, Advocate Johannes Makgatho, said a need has been identified to reduce road carnage ‘by implementing road safety legislative interventions’.
Cosatu said it supported the proposed amendment. ‘Alcohol is said to be responsible for 25% of road accidents. The existing laws are clearly insufficient. The current limits allow for too much ambiguity with regards to a person’s weight, age, the type of alcohol, etc. The proposed amendment simply banning any drinking and driving is progressive and long overdue. It must be ruthlessly enforced, especially for young people and professional drivers.’
However, the AA said evidence showed no benefit from BAC reductions in SA. ‘The effect of a zero limit will be that drivers whose blood or breath alcohol level is non-zero, but who are not in any way impaired, will be unjustly criminalised.’