Beer Sectoral Group (BSG) of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) says it is launching 2019 “Don’t Drink and Drive’ campaign to create awareness about dangers of drunk driving.
Jordi Borut Bel, the Chairman of BSG and Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries, made this known during the official launch of ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’ campaign and presentation of Breathalyzers in Lagos on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the campaign is an initiative of the Beer Sectoral Group in partnership with the Federal Road Safety Corps.
Bel said that the campaign would commence in Lagos, Rivers State and Federal Capital Territory from Oct. 20 until the end of January 2020.
He said that the two states and Abuja were chosen for this year’s campaign after consultation with the FRSC based on existing traffic offences data.
“FRSC as a key partner in the programme will conduct the rallies in each state and is encouraged to innovate based on peculiar challenges in line with the core components of the intervention.
“Globally, breathalyzers are reliable, quick and accurate tools predominantly used by law enforcement officials to measure blood alcohol content.
“To further complement the enforcement efforts of FRSC, BSG has made available more breathalyzers for the use of the Corps in all geo-political zones of the country.
“Moving forward, the BSG `Don’t Drink and Drive’ has come to stay.
“We member companies of BSG would continue to deploy available resources to support FRSC in line with our MoU with the company,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) noted that alcohol-related road traffic crashes topped the burning factors contributing to untimely death globally.
Oyeyemi said that the World Health Organisation, and World Bank in its 2018 report, estimate that about 1.35 million are killed on the world’s roads annually.
He said that young drivers made use of alcohol as a stimulant to energise and give infantile strength during long hours of driving, most especially among haulage and commuter drivers.
Oyeyemi said that this had gradually moved stealthily into psychopathic sense of private drivers who were regarded to be more grounded in defensive driving.
“Alcohol consumption above the legal limit among drivers results in a significantly increased risk of motor vehicle accidents.
“Data from some developed countries show a link between drunk driving and alcohol-related road traffic injuries and fatalities.
“On this note, the desire is for collaborative efforts with stakeholders, especially BSG, to embark on aggressive and collective sensitisation with government, private and individuals to sponsor nationwide programmes.
“This will aid in behavioural modification amongst drivers and in turn reduce the number of crashes associated with drunk driving, especially as the festive period approaches,” Oyeyemi said.
He commended the BSG for their logistic support through provision of breathalyzers and other facilities to aid FRSC operations in combating the menace of drunk driving in Nigeria.
NAN reports that in April 2017, the FRSC signed a historic memorandum of understanding with BSG with particular emphasis on reducing drunk driving.