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City launches Autosobriety Training Programm
City launches Autosobriety Training Programme​
EThekwini Municipality is leading the way and making history by being the first in the country when it launched the Autosobriety Training Programme (ATP) to Prevent Drink-Driving on 23 March.

The ATP is aimed at curbing alcohol-related road fatalities. The programme will be delivered through a number of stakeholders, including private driving schools.

Beneficiaries will be equipped with educational tools through an initiative by the United Nations (UN) Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in collaboration with eThekwini Municipality, together with the eThekwini Transport Authority, the eThekwini Municipal Academy (EMA), the Municipal Institute of Learning (MILE), the International Training Center for Authorities and Leaders in Durban (CIFAL Durban). And, with the support of the alcohol beverage producer, Pernod Ricard.

In 2019, according to the Durban Metro Police, there were 65 861 total road traffic crashes, of which 5 500 were alcohol related crashes in eThekwini Municipal area. The number of crashes related to alcohol comprises at least eight percent of the total amount.

EThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda officially launched the programme via Zoom. 

“Through this collaboration, enhanced awareness of drink-driving as a risk factor causing road traffic crashes is expected, as well as the implementation of the ATP in the existing training for Municipal drivers, and its integration across other sectoral projects of the eThekwini Municipality,” said Mayor Kaunda.

He saluted the UN, led by Honourable Nikhil Seth, for trusting the City with their Road Safety Programmes not only in South Africa but also in Anglophone countries in Africa.  

“We are also grateful to the sponsor, led by Andre Muller, for partnering with us to fight this scourge of road fatalities,” said Mayor Kaunda.  

Head of EMA, Dr Mpilo Ngubane said he is extremely proud of this impactful programme and explained that it will be implemented in three phases, following a cascaded approach for training. The first phase consists of a Training of Trainers for driving instructors from the Municipality, the second phase targets Municipal employees and some 100 driving schools, and lastly, the third phase includes road users in general, with a target of 5 000 beneficiaries.

Pernod Ricard’s Corporate Affairs Director (SA) Andre Muller said as part of Pernod Ricard’s strong commitment to fight alcohol misuse in society, the beverage producer is proud to be partnering with the UNITAR and eThekwini Municipality.

 “We believe that better education on the risks of drink driving is key to empower drivers to make the right decision and to reduce alcohol related road crashed,” said Muller.

Ngubane further explained that the overall objective of the Autosobriety Programme is to contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3.6 – “By 2030, reduce by half road traffic deaths and injuries” and the UN Global Performance Target for Road Safety (Risk Factor 9 – By 2030, halve the number of road traffic injuries and fatalities related to drivers using alcohol) through education and prevention. 

The Programme was welcomed by the non-governmental organisation South Africans Against Drunk Driving (SADD).
SADD founder Caro Smit was pleased that the alcohol industry was spending money in eThekwini to curb drunk driving.

Meanwhile, over the long weekend of 21 March, 18 drunk drivers were arrested for breaking the rules of the road said the provincial Department of Transport, Community Safety and Liaison.

In addition, 171 motorists were charged for speeding. According to the department, the Road Traffic Inspectorate stopped 7 953 vehicles at roadblocks and other operations over the weekend. As a result, 672 written charges were issued to motorists, 136 motorists were charged for driving without a driver’s licence and 51 vehicles were suspended.

Moreover, a total of 102 motorists were charged for various offences such as failing to wear a seatbelt, driving unlicensed vehicles and inconsiderate driving. 

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