A romantic getaway in Sun City? A Cape Town inner city 2-nights staycation at a little lock-up-and-go? A scenic weekend seaside stay with arresting views of the north coast? Drunk South African drivers could get these attractive 2023 festive season accommodation offers for free.
As we gear up for vacation and R&R during the balmy hot days and warm summer nights, drivers who are found to be driving under the influence (DUI) can secure real accommodation bargains at one of the country’s police holding cells.
Through a partnership between the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (Aware.org), Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and the online accommodation booking platform Daddy’s Deals, drivers have been warned that if they choose to drink and drive this festive season, they are likely to stay for free.
The campaign raises awareness about the dangers of irresponsible alcohol consumption to drivers and other road users and aims to reduce the road crash rate and death toll on South Africa’s roads during this December and January.
Carmen Mohapi, Managing Director of Aware.org explained that behind a tongue-in-cheek initiative is a very serious message: these holidays, don’t drink and drive. “The campaign’s road safety warnings are inspired by typical travel ads. We hope that the contrast between the blunt key message – drunk drivers stay for free – and a relaxed tone of visuals and supporting messages will help South Africans pause, think, remember our advice, and ultimately act responsibly after having drinks.
“While we anticipate to see measurable impact with the summertime safety drive, road safety is one of our priority areas throughout the year. Driver sobriety is vital 24/7 in order to protect drivers, passengers and pedestrians,” said Mohapi.
“Our driver intoxication and fatal crashes research extrapolates that an estimated 27% of fatal crashes in our country can be attributed to driver alcohol intoxication. Since drinking and driving is dangerous, unnecessary and unwise, these incidents can be prevented and avoided,” said RTMC CEO Advocate Makhosini Msibi.
Msibi said that public-private partnerships such as the one with Aware.org and Daddy’s Deals help to mobilise different sectors of society to focus and find solutions to challenges that affect everyone, like irresponsible drinking and driving.
“Daddy's Deals has partnered with Aware.org and the RTMC on this initiative that prioritises the safety and welfare of our communities, especially during the festive season. We hope to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving through this clever campaign; by creatively promoting jail cells as accommodation deals we hope to underscore the critical message of responsible behaviour on the roads,” said Sinegugu Ngwenya, Content Marketing Specialist from Daddy’s Deals.
Mohapi stressed that in addition to asking South Africans to resist drinking if they know they will be driving, it is important to popularise and start building new social norms centred around the reality that it is now easier than ever to avoid drinking and driving.
“Why risk spoiling your holiday and good times with loved ones that you’ve worked hard for during the year? Rather prepare for the upcoming brunches, afternoon braais and evening celebrations by making use of the widespread availability of 0% alcohol drink options and transportation alternatives,” advised Mohapi.
This latest Aware.org campaign follows encouraging results from the association’s collaboration with the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department implemented earlier this year.
“We assisted the JMPD with evidential blood alcohol technology and data capturing, which has helped make their DUI road blocks more effectual by ensuring admissibility of blood-alcohol tests in court. Visible and frequent DUI operations help to deter individuals from drinking and driving. Our next priority is to conclude similar partnerships with police departments in other high risk provinces, beginning with KwaZulu-Natal which is the province with the second-biggest road incident rate after Gauteng,” concluded Mohapi
Let this holiday season be about creating cherished memories, not regrettable choices. Stay mindful, stay safe, and make responsible decisions on the road. Your journey should be filled with joy, not risks. Wishing you all a festive season filled with laughter, love, and most importantly, safety! 🎄🚗 #DriveSmart #HappyHolidays"