dont drink and drive

B-METRO COMMENT: Prioritise safety this Christmas

The festive season is upon us and there is a lot of merry making across the country, indeed across the world. 

Christmas is a time when families come together and take a break from work that would have taken up much of their time for the better part of the year.

However, it is during this period of heightened activity that people’s joy can be cut short if the necessary precautions are not taken at home, on our roads, railway lines and in various places of interest. It is against this background that we would like to urge the public to prioritise their safety in whatever they do.

The country has witnessed many accidents that have claimed countless lives around this time of the year and the police and traffic safety officials have been deployed to continue to encourage our people on the roads to drive with caution. We believe it is the responsibility of motorists to follow road rules since these rules were promulgated to safeguard lives through maintaining order on the roads. Motorists and pedestrians alike share that responsibility of keeping our roads safe.

Recently the Government tightened road regulations and revised fines for traffic offences but it is our view that our attitudes play a much bigger role than regulation when it comes to behaviour on the roads.  We are told that human error on the roads accounts for much of the traffic accidents.  Apart from some unprocedurally acquired certificates of competency for our drivers, there is also the issue of impatience on the roads that leads to dangerous overtaking, driving for long distances without resting and driving under the influence of alcohol.

We are worried that motorists do not appear to take some of these factors seriously and even more concerned that our law enforcement agents do not appear to be effectively equipped to weed out drunk drivers from our roads.

There is so much drinking and driving on our roads and this is quite apparent at drinking spots where most drivers are seen driving off after spending hours drinking. Fatigue plays a part as well in impairing a motorist’s concentration on the road and we urge drivers to rest whenever they feel the need to instead of dozing their way to their destination, hence exposing themselves to danger.

Police have also urged travellers to secure their properties since criminals are also watching during this period and ready to pounce on properties that are left unattended. It is quite important for those intending to travel to leave their houses under the supervision of the police or at least leave someone at the property to deter criminals.

Also, those that choose to drink this festive season, we urge them to do so in moderation and not find themselves making unsafe decisions due to their drunkenness.  We wish everyone a Merry Christmas but it can only be enjoyable if we act responsibility and consider above all other people’s rights as we exercise ours.