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December 09, 2010

Cape Town has cabs: Don’t drink and drive

cape town accident

Cape Town Tourism urges locals and visitors not to drive drunk or hungover this festive season. Photo courtesy Danie van der Merwe

Drunk driving is one of the biggest threats to road safety in South Africa and over the festive season the temptation to drink and drive increases. The 2009/ 2010 annual report by the Road Traffic Management Corporation reported 1 307 fatalities in the Western Cape alone, versus 13 923 deaths nationally. Cape Town Tourism would like to urge all locals and visitors in Cape Town to be responsible this summer holiday by refraining from drinking and driving.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics is a criminal offence for which convicted drivers could have their driver’s licences suspended. A fatal accident could mean jail time.

Studies show that alcohol slows down your reaction time, distorts your vision and creates false courage, increasing the chance of having an accident. A cold shower or cup of coffee will not sober you up enough to drive. If you decide to stay the night and drive the next morning, please be aware that fatigue, combined with a hangover, also makes you an unsafe driver. It’s also possible that you may still be over the limit.

The blood-alcohol concentration limit in South Africa is 0.05 grams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, approximately the same as having one beer, one tot measure of spirit or one glass of wine. Several city bars now have wall-mounted breathalyser units where patrons can check themselves before getting into the driver’s seat.

The City of Cape Town has pledged to crack down on drunk driving this festive season, setting up random roadblocks across the province and administering breathalyser tests for those suspected of being under the influence. Drivers might also be tested for drug use.

CEO of Cape Town Tourism Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold says, “It cannot be expressed enough how dangerous and deadly drunk driving is, and how those to blame only realise their mistake after the incident takes place and they’ve sobered up – which is far too late. So, by all means, enjoy yourself this summer, just don’t drink and drive ... call a ride.”

A few of Cape Town’s preferred taxi services are listed below.

  • Rikkis operate in and around the city centre, offering metered taxis as well as shared rides. Call +27 (0)861 745 547
  • Excite Taxis operate a metered taxi service throughout the metropole. Call +27 (0)21 448 4444
  • Dial-a-Cab operates metered taxis in and around the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town. Call +27 (0)21 559 8807
  • Sea Point Original Radio Taxis offers a 24-hour metered taxi service in and around the city centre and along the Atlantic Seaboard. Call +27 (0)21 447 4444
  • Grab a Cab offers a 24-hour metered taxi service across the metropole but is based in Blaauwberg. Call +27 (0)21 556 6344
  • The Green Cab, Cape Town’s first eco-friendly transport solution, offers a metered taxi and shared ride service. Call +27 (0)86 184 3473
  • If you don’t want to leave your car behind, call Smart Guyz on 0861 076 2786. They will come to your location with a follow-car and a chauffeur to drive you and your car home.
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