The Transport and Justice Department are cracking down on drunk driving in the country and plan to move the offence up to a schedule five.
Despite the continuous forewarning leading up to the festive season last year, over 1700 people died on South Africa's roads - 5% higher than the previous festive season.Transport Minister Dipuo Peters attributed the deaths to drivers' attitudes and drunk driving. She also said the department would be working with the trade and industry department on the current alcohol laws.
Changes To Drunk Driving Laws In South Africa
The minister said the justice and transport departments wants the drunk driving offence converted to a schedule five offence. This has been as a result of the negligence of South African drivers on the road, where over 80% of all deaths on the road are as a result of drunk driving.The Justice Project South Africa has a live counter which details the amount of crashes, fatalities, and passengers paralysed and injured as a result of an accident. It also details the total cost to the nation.
More About a Schedule Five Offence
A schedule five offence is one of the most serious in South Africa and includes offences such as rape, murder and treason.The recommended minimum sentence for a schedule five offence is 15 years in jail. Bail would apply after a long process in court.
DA To Submit Series Of Written Questions To National Assembly
The DA has blamed the Minister of Transport for the deaths on the road this festive season. DA shadow Minister of Transport, Manny de Freitas, said in a statement, "It is clear from these very concerning figures that something is seriously wrong with the approach being adopted by government".De Freitas said it was clear that Peters' 'business as usual' approach to road deaths was not working and cannot continue with the status quo approach any longer.De Freitas continued that the DA would be submitting a series of written questions in the National Assembly to investigate whether all the Department's pledges, which were made last year (on release of 2015 road deaths figures), were indeed fully implemented in 2016 and to what degree.
"This will include determining whether the 2016 campaign was adapted at all, and on the basis of what evidence."