About 2000 years ago, in Ephesian the Bible warned “Do not get drunk as it leads to debauchery”.
That 52% of South Africans who die in traffic accidents had alcohol in their blood is bad news. Since 70% of all assaults are alcohol related also suggests that little has changed in two millenniums.
The consistent violence also suggests that our reality requires drastic action if we are to anticipate change. Drivers caught drunk regularly receive suspended sentences and those who kill people ultimately walk free. The reason for this entire acceptance is the reality that drunkenness is part of South African culture.
Since we live in a constitutional democracy, it is difficult to compel everyone to listen to logic even in their own interest. What is required is to send a strong message to those who drive intoxicated.
Intoxicated drivers should be identified as quickly as possible at the accident scene. Paramedics and hospital staff should treat accident victims and not the intoxicated driver as a priority. This proposes, children first and women second. Likewise, criminals who are easily identified by their tattoos should also receive ancillary medical attention after their victims and other medical emergencies.
The Provincial Health Department should, through ethical interpretation priorities their spending. This infers fewer resources to heal criminals who shoot each other on a regular basis and more resources for taxpayers who require dialyses. The department could increase the salaries of nurses by spending less on surgery to rehabilitate drunk drivers. Since volumes have been written on the threat of intoxicants, the time for debate is over.
Those unwilling to change their behaviour must bear the costs. Since the justice system seems determined to protect drunk drivers the least we can do is not to waste limited public medical resources on them.
Capetonians cannot talk about a world class city, if we cannot protect ourselves on a public road?
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress
Suite 19 1st Floor
076 427 8017