"South Africans drink as if the world is coming to an end": Peters

"South Africans drink as if the world is coming to an end": Peters

Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, says alcohol remains a major contributing factor to the country's horrific road death statistics. The minister launched the festive season transport safety campaign on the N12 Freeway, in Eldorado Park, south of Johannesburg this morning

Transport minister Dipuo Peters
Gallo images

"South Africans drink as if the world is coming to an end, as if they were the first ones to discover liquor," she said. 

Authorities are gearing up for the traditional festive season rush. Last year saw a slight decline in the death toll, with 1 368 dying on the country's roads between 1 December and 5 January. 

Peters told those in attendance that road safety is everyone's responsibility.

"Who cries when somebody dies in a crash? It's not the traffic police, it is not SAPS, it is not the magistrate or the judge. It is not the department of transport. It is family, it is friends, it's members of the community, the neighbours. It is colleagues, it is fellow schoolmates who are crying," she said. 

South Africa has some of the worst road death statistics in the world. The Road Traffic Management Corporation's annual report for the year 2014/ 2015 revealed that more than 4,500 people died on the country's roads. 

Speed and alcohol abuse are the top two contributing factors that lead to crashes. 

Peters appealed to motorists and pedestrians to drink responsibly or face prospect of spending the festive season behind bars, or worse, being killed in a crash. 

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