The Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) has anticipated a sharp increase in alcohol-related accidents due to the partial reopening of bars.

In an interview, RTSA head of public relations Fred Mubanga warned motorists to drink responsibly, saying they risked having their licences revoked or suspended.

“Road Transport and Safety Agency wishes to caution drivers against lawlessness in order to avoid drunk driver related road traffic accidents following the reopening of bars over the weekend. We have anticipated a sharp rise in the numbers of drunk driver related accidents if drivers do not adhere to traffic rules and regulations. It is against this background that we wish to cushion all drivers to drink responsibly and those that wish to drive whilst they are drunk, we want to warn them that that should not be the case as the Road Transport and Safety Agency will be on the ground to ensure that no driver is found driving under the influence of Alcohol,” Mubanga warned.

“The law is very clear, driving under the influence of alcohol is an offence under the road traffic acts number 11 of 2002 and in doing so, one risks having his driving licence revoked or suspended because he is a danger on the roads. We want advise to the bus drivers to ensure that if they wish to drive on the roads, they should not be drinking and that if they want to drink, let them ensure that they have a driver. Let them take a taxi or any public service vehicle to avoid any drunk driving related accidents. As individual drivers, we need to take responsibility at a personal level.”

He said the country had recorded a 30 per cent reduction in road traffic accidents and fatalities in the first half of 2020, hence the need to for drivers to adhere to safety rules.

“Those that won’t adhere to this advice, we are going to move in as RTSA because our officers are on the ground to conduct targeted enforcement in relation to driving under the influence of alcohol. So be advised and be cautioned that we are not going to leave any stone unturned because doing so might jeopardize or have a negative impact on the road safety profile of our country,” said Mubanga.

“Moreover, the country’s safety profile is enjoying very favourable numbers in terms of statistics; we have recorded a very drastic reduction in the number of road traffic accidents and fatalities for the first half of the year, representing a 30 percent reduction as of 31st of June 2020 as compared to the same period in 2019. Therefore, if we don’t handle the second half of the year, we might have a sharp uprise in traffic accidents especially those in relation to driving under the influence of alcohol. To avert this situation, we have moved in and we will continue increasing messaging or enhancing messaging on the need for drivers not to drive under the influence of alcohol.”