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Western Cape Name & Shame campaign may halt

The Name & Shame campaign of the Western Cape's convicted drunk drivers may halt because the Western Cape Justice Department does not have the labour to provide the specific detailed information needed.
Helen Szemerei
Helen Szemerei
Helen Szemerei, CEO of IntegriSure, says the initiative reportedly assisted in reducing road traffic fatalities by as much as 28% in the Western Cape since 2009. "There are many initiatives that have been implemented in an attempt to reduce the volume of accidents and deaths on our roads; yet this one seems to have had some of the biggest success, so we are very concerned if it does not have the necessary support to continue.

"It is important that all stakeholders work together when a campaign such as this does prove to be a success. It has been an uphill battle to deal with the issue of fatalities on our roads, so we would urge all players to assist in ensuring this campaign can continue.

"Alcohol is the most common cause of death and injury on our roads, with Transport Minister Ben Martins claiming earlier this year that a report by the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA) actually showed that the combined effect of all road deaths costs the economy R306?billion, with 60% of that being related to alcohol."

Insurers could help

She notes that insurance providers can also play a role in the success of such a campaign by sharing data with key role players.

"Motorists should be aware that most, if not all, insurance contracts do not pay out on a claim if it is found that the driver was under the influence of alcohol whilst driving. If insurers shared the data on policyholders, particularly with regards to convicted drunk drivers, it could serve as an even bigger deterrent as these people would find it much harder to obtain insurance in the future.

"Insurers may decline to offer cover at all in the future, which means consumers could be putting themselves at risk of being either uninsurable or of having to pay a substantially higher excess and premium in the future."

Furthermore, with only a third of vehicles on the roads insured, she says responsible drivers should realise that they stand to gain financially from any move to reduce the number of accidents on the roads.

"A reduction in the number of accidents on the roads will mean fewer claims being submitted and therefore more funds will be available in the collective insurance pool - which can be used to stabilise premiums and avoid unnecessary increases.

"With an average claims cost of R24,000 per bumper bashing, it's imperative to have comprehensive insurance cover in place to protect yourself against financial loss and enjoy peace of mind."

"Drinking and driving has become a socially acceptable practice in South Africa and it will take a concerted effort from all parties to change this; however if enough awareness is created, if initiatives to prevent this practice are supported, we can begin to educate motorists and change attitudes," concludes Szemerei.

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