Zero alcohol limit proposed in South Africa

Up to 10,000 people die in road accidents every year in South Africa. Photo / APN
Up to 10,000 people die in road accidents every year in South Africa. Photo / APN

People used to drinking a glass of wine at dinner or two cans of beer at a braai before driving home may have to change their habits.

Laws being proposed by Minister of Transport S'bu Ndebele could reduce the legal alcohol limit to zero.

The minister also proposes graded driver's licences for first-time drivers, giving a provisional licence of two or three years. The licence could be taken away for serious traffic violations.

Ndebele was responding to a question in the National Assembly.

He confirmed he was considering reviewing blood-alcohol levels. The present limit is 0.05g/100ml, with a 0.02 limit for professional drivers of buses, taxis and freight.

Automobile Association spokesman Gary Ronald said the AA had been in discussions with the Transport Department for more than two years, asking that the limit be reduced to zero.

He said the idea might not go down well with certain sectors of society in which alcohol played an important part in social structure, and that would be difficult to change. But change was necessary in a country in which up to 10,000 people died in road accidents every year.

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