Call for heightened operations to combat drunk driving

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The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has called on all law enforcement authorities to increase their operations against drunk driving. This follows the lifting of the ban on the sale of alcohol.

On Tuesday night, five people were killed and one injured after two vehicles collided in Benoni, east of Johannesburg. Both drivers are suspected to have been under the influence of alcohol.

The RTMC together with the South African Police Service and Ekurhuleni Metro Police are investigating the cause of the crash.

Research conducted by the RTMC in collaboration with the South African Medical Research Council and the University of South Africa shows that drunk driving accounts for 27% of fatal crashes in the country. This is estimated to cost the economy R18.2 billion annually.

The corporation says drunk-driving operations should be prioritised at night and over weekends throughout the year. Evidence shows that 55% of fatal crashes take place at night, about three out of five over the weekends and 70% during non-vacation periods.