The two entities are sharing the results from their partnership initiative as part of observations of October Transport Month, which this year has the theme “Together we move South Africa forward”. This annual event aims to acknowledge the role of transportation in national socio-economic activities. It is also a focal point for promoting road safety and demonstrating the key roles of drivers, passengers and pedestrians in improving our collective safety.
Our latest GP 'report card' states the following:
- 4848 DUI Enforcements
- 1696 Arrests
- 6% Reduction in drunk driving
*Aware-JMPD road safety report: April to June 2023.
Aware.org, the alcohol harm-reduction organisation funded by the industry, has devised its data-informed road safety strategy based on the statistics that show that Gauteng, followed by KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape, are provinces with the highest number of road fatalities.
Main goals of the collaboration:
- Facilitate more frequent DUI operations that act as a deterrent for individuals unwisely thinking they can get away with ‘one for the road’.
- Contribute to improved alcohol testing at roadblocks and real-time data capturing to ensure that: (i) the evidence collected during roadblocks is sufficiently robust to be admissible in court; and (ii) reduce the number of incidents linked to drunk driving.
Carmen Mohapi, the Managing Director of Aware.org says: “In turn, successful convictions of offenders and when needed, their referral for rehabilitation provide opportunities for behaviour change necessary for a more responsible approach to driving among South African drivers. We appreciate JMPD’s keen interest in working with us, as well as the assistance provided by NICRO, which leads the rehabilitation segment of this collaboration.”
Aware.org supported JMPD with closing the gaps in their reporting and docket capturing.
“Enabling more effective calibration of evidential breath alcohol testing (EBAT) equipment improved turnaround time of our devices, while deployment of trained data capturers assisted in digitising the dockets to make their use easier and to safeguard against the loss of paper copies,” says Superintendent Michael Botolo.
Project data was disaggregated according to JMPD regions, which according to Botolo, is a significant benefit of the intervention as it helps the JMPD locate priority regions and hotspots that require increased enforcement.
Mohapi says that this underscores the benefits of a whole-of-society, holistic approach to alcohol harm reduction, a method championed by Aware.org. “On the one hand, there is our partnership with the JMPD that allows for more frequent DUI roadblocks, random breathalyser checks and admissibility of evidence in courts. On the other are NICRO’s rehabilitation services for offenders to reduce repeat offences.
“Aware.org is assisted in the mission to reduce drink driving by our members and associations. We amplify these activities through national public awareness campaigns. As the yearend season approaches, we ramp up outreach and educational initiatives with our partners to collectively enable safer celebrations and holidays by helping South Africans to practice responsible drinking.
“With the many 0% alcohol drink options and transportation alternatives on offer today, acting responsibly and not sitting behind the wheel after drinking has never been easier,” concludes Mohapi.
In conclusion, the collaborative efforts of Aware.org and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department are making Gauteng's roads safer, one DUI operation at a time. By focusing on road safety, enforcing DUI laws, and providing rehabilitation opportunities, they're not just preventing accidents but also driving positive change in South Africa. Let's all play our part, practice responsible drinking, and choose safer alternatives as we approach the year-end season. Together, we can ensure safer celebrations and holidays for all.