The Malta Independent 13 July 2020, Monday

Anti-drink driving campaign launched: Alcohol and driving a deadly mix, authorities warn

Duncan Barry Monday, 15 December 2014, 10:47 Last update: about 7 years ago

The authorities have teamed up to convey one message: “If you are going to drive, don’t drink”, since it is a deadly mix if one decides to do the contrary.

The campaign, launched this morning at the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention unit in Msida, involves the Health Promotion Unit, the Civil Protection Department, the Police, Touring Club Malta, Sedqa, and Transport Malta.

The campaign includes video promos which aim to cut down on drink driving during the festive season but authority representatives present emphasised that people should not drink and drive throughout the year.

It is estimated that 15,000 collisions occurred each year during the last two years while 1,600 were admitted to hospital suffering from light or grievous injuries as a result of road accidents. Road fatalities are fortunately on a downward trend though. It has also been noted that accidents do not just occur during the festive season but a number of collisions have been registered between the months of June and July.

Until June this year, 472 ambulance dispatches were registered.

Authority representatives emphasised that it is not only our life that we must preserve, but that of others as well and therefore we should act maturely and refrain from drinking and driving.

CPD operations manager Tony Pisani said that besides refraining from drinking and driving, it is vital owners of establishments do not block the fire exits of their premises and take into account the number of persons the premises can take and not to try fit in as many patrons as possible since this could lead to a tragedy in the event a fire occurs.

Assistant Commissioner Sandro Zarb that the police intend conducting checks in certain areas where private parties are being held so as to curb on drink driving and driving under other substances, noting a trend whereby parties are being organised in private residences.

“Certain sections of the Police Force which are normally dormant during this time of year will be despatched in such areas to curb on abuse,” he said.

Charmaine Gauci, director, Health Promotion, explained that people’s reflexes are much slower when under the influence of alcohol.

She said that besides the fact our reflexes become slower, the levels of hearing and vision decrease when under the influence, leading to delayed reactions in the event one has to take a sudden brake.

Alfred Grixti, the CEO of the Foundation of Social Welfare Services, who spoke on behalf of Sedqa, said that some individuals think they can handle drinking and driving.

“Nobody can handle it, therefore, it is simple don’t drink and drive since it could have severe repercussions,” he said.

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