.... for the Road!
It is estimated that each year over 1.2 million people are killed in road crashes globally.
Additionally, 20-50 times that number suffer from serious injuries.
This translates into 3,300 deaths and over 70,000 serious injuries each day, or over 2 road deaths per minute.
The cost of these casualties is estimated to be over half a trillion US Dollars.
For males aged 15 to 44 road fatalities account for the second leading cause of death behind Aids.
The Asian region accounts for 45% of all deaths, with a share of 16% of all motor vehicles.
In developing countries like Thailand and Vietnam, a very high proportion of road deaths are alcohol related, with 50 to 60% of all victims showing alcohol in their blood.
A study in Ireland found that 90% of all crashes where the driver was under the influence of alcohol, that driver was male. 37% of all fatal crashes involved alcohol as a leading cause, but in 62% of all single vehicle crashes alcohol was a factor.
Other studies found that drivers whose blood alcohol level is measured at 80mg/100ml are three (3) times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers with a zero level. Above the 80mg level this risk increases exponentially.
Over half the fatal drivers had levels of over 150mg/100ml blood alcohol.
The combination of alcohol and speed is a particularly toxic mix.
With almost half the alcohol related fatal accidents speed is part of the cause.
Drunk driving is a mainly male problem, with global estimates of 85% to 95% of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes being male.
The question is how tolerant a society should be towards this antisocial behaviour of drinking and driving?
One person’s freedom stops where another’s starts; the freedom to drive and not having to tolerate the additional, and unnecessary risk of being killed by a (male) Drunk Driver.
Every society must have rules which safeguard one section’s freedoms, and needs to restrict another’s to allow all citizens to enjoy maximum safety and quality of life.
We all are at one time members of one group enjoying freedoms, and at others we belong to a group ceding a small portion of our ‘freedoms’.
The most worrying aspect is that young people are becoming less responsible and more reckless, with a culture of excess drinking, binge drinking and alcohol related problems at an alarming increase.
So, should there be zero tolerance for blood alcohol levels for motor vehicle drivers?
And how severely should offenders be disciplined for transgressions?