Drinking and Driving

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Uber and SAB are working together to help reduce the number of deaths caused by drunk driving ahead of the festive season, when alcohol-related traffic accidents are traditionally high.

South Africa has the world’s highest rate of alcohol-related road deaths. According to WHO as much as 58% of all road deaths in South Africa are related to drinking and driving. That’s thousands of needless deaths a year.

Most of these tragic incidents happen at night and during the weekend – exactly when it’s traditionally been hardest to get home. Public transport shuts down or is severely limited, while taxis are also few and far between, at night in many cities.

The new PLEDGE campaign will see Uber breathalyser kiosks set up at SAB events in and around Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town this December 2015 and January 2016. When partygoers are thinking of driving home, they can first check their alcohol levels by blowing into the Uber breathalyser kiosk. The kiosks will identify whether they are under or over the legal drinking limit, offering them a Reality Check to avoid the consequences of drinking and driving. Uber and SAB will then provide them with a complimentary Uber trip home, up to the value of R100. This value applies to both existing and new Uber riders.

Uber’s General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Alon Lits hopes the campaign will discourage drinking and driving this festive season, “Too many lives are destroyed by someone driving after drinking. But we’ve seen first hand that, where passengers can push a button and get a safe, affordable ride in minutes, we can help stop this. Together with SAB, we want to encourage South Africans to be responsible and make use of an alternative to avoid drunk driving this festive season.”

Sanele Gaqa, Alcohol Policy Manager at SAB says “Drinking and driving has serious consequences, whether it’s being arrested and obtaining a criminal record, or worse; injury and even death. Through SAB’s Reality Check partnership with Uber and the PLEDGE campaign, we hope to encourage everyone to choose safe and reliable alternatives to driving under the influence.”

Earlier this year, academic researchers from Pennsylvania Temple University in America compared rates of alcohol-related deaths in Californian cities before and after Uber launched its service. They found that after the arrival of Uber in a city, the number of people killed in cars due to alcohol decreased by 3.6 percent. Another study in Seattle found that arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol fell 10 percent after Uber’s launch.

Be sure to check Uber and SAB’s social media platforms to find out where, in your city, the Breathalyser kiosks will be stationed. Unsure how to use the kiosk? Uber and SAB will have designated kiosk assistants to help those guests who need it.

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