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Reducing blood alcohol limits to zero won't improve road safety, says AA



Proposed amendments to the National Road Traffic Act to reduce the legal blood alcohol limits for drivers to zero will criminalise innocent motorists, and is unlikely to have the results authorities think it will.

This is the view of the Automobile Association (AA) in response to the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill, published at the end of October.

Included in the Bill is an amendment of Section 65 which effectively changes the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers from 0.05 grams per 100ml to 0.00g/100ml, and the breath alcohol concentration from 0.24g/1000ml also to zero.

“These proposed changes are concerning on a number of levels and though the stated reason for the change is the promotion of road safety, within the current framework of traffic law enforcement, nothing will change, except that innocent drivers are likely to be criminalised,” notes the AA.

“For instance, someone who is using medication which contains alcohol will now be arrested, charged and possibly prosecuted for having a small dose of alcohol in their blood while their driving ability has not been impaired.”

The association says the proposed amendment is again making motorists soft targets for traffic law enforcers, and that the desired outcomes of improved road safety will not be met.

“How will traffic law enforcement change to accommodate this proposed amendment? And, perhaps more importantly, how will a single piece of legislation change drivers' attitudes when nothing else around traffic law enforcement changes at the same time?

“Without proper and implementable actions, we don’t believe the amendments relating to the alcohol levels will have a material impact on our abysmal road fatality statistics,” says the AA.

The average of 13,000 deaths on our roads annually is a national crisis and amending this one piece of legislation is not going to make a difference.

 

Automobile Association (AA)

The association says simply drafting legislation does not equate to meaningful road safety intervention and that other more important steps must be taken. These include:

  • a more intense, widespread and constant focus on national road safety education;
  • an increase in the number of traffic law enforcement officers; and
  • improved prosecution of current drunk driver cases.

Another important aspect of effective traffic policing is to ensure law enforcement is visible and active around known areas of drinking and driving, and that proper action is taken against offenders.

The association notes: “We need to be in a situation where people are afraid to drive if they have been drinking, and we stand by our messaging of 'drink or drive'. However, within this framework – and the interventions we have outlined – we believe a reduction of the BAC limit to 0.02g/100ml would be a more effective, just, and appropriate approach to drunk driving in the country.”

The AA says motorists who drink and drive must assume they will be arrested because there are many alternatives available to those who want to drink and still be mobile. But, it adds, legally reducing the BAC to zero is not the answer.

“We cannot have a situation where authorities are amending legislation in the hope that this will change our shocking crash statistics. The average of 13,000 deaths on our roads annually is a national crisis and amending this one piece of legislation is not going to make a difference unless those interventions we mention all the time are also implemented,” says the AA.

The association says it will be commenting on the proposed amendments and making submissions to parliament before the November 20 deadline.

 

Article courtesy of SAafrica24.com

Cyber security culture the best defence



People have the potential to be an organisation’s best defence against cyber threats and fraud. This is especially true as companies continue to embrace work-from-home models and hybrid office and remote working structures.

 

With perimeter security lines blurred, more people being left to their own devices, and most cyber threats leveraging the human factor, building a cyber secure culture should be at the heart of effective cyber risk management.

 

“Many cybercriminals target individuals through malware and phishing scams, putting employees on the frontline of the fight against cybercrime. It is evident in the scourge of cybercrime since March that work-from-home models have made companies, their people and their data vulnerable. However, suppose cyber security is a culture within your organisation. In that case, it does not matter whether your employees at the office, at home or a bit of both,” says Charl Ueckermann, who has recently been appointed as Group CEO at AVeS Cyber International.

 

Inculcating a cyber secure culture has its roots in training staff on the dos and the don’ts around their use of technology and data resources. Yet, many companies are not providing ongoing cyber security training, despite the increased risks associated with remote working.

 

A survey by Malwarebytes, Enduring from home: Covid-19’s impact on business security, showed that 44% of companies did not provide cyber security training focused on the potential threats of working from home and 55% of company leaders cited the need to train employees on how to securely work at home as the top challenge.

 

“The dilemma is that cyber security is a difficult concept to grasp. People struggle to believe in what they cannot smell, taste or feel. Similarly, the average user of technology cannot hear, see, smell, touch, and taste cyber threats. They feel removed and untouched by them. That is until they are impacted by a cyber incident, data breach, fraud or identity theft.

 

“That is why developing a cyber secure culture, where everyone at every level of the organisation buys-into and participates in the cyber security strategy, is more effective than merely having a tick-box approach to cyber security awareness training. When cyber security becomes a culture in an organisation, two things happen: employees understand their role in the cyber security strategy, and they know how management expects them to respond to incidents.

 

“Culture is developed from strongly held value systems that are strategically supported. When safety forms part of your business values, your business continuity, the integrity of your data and sustainability of your business becomes a culture. These values must be driven from the top and be reinforced by both structure and strategy to ultimately shape employee perceptions and behaviour.

 

“Management plays an instrumental role in shaping and sustaining a strong cyber secure culture. If a company’s leadership does not buy into the importance of a cyber secure culture, it is unlikely that employees will,” explains Ueckermann.

 

Citing a 2020 Gartner report The Urgency to Treat Cybersecurity as a Business Decision, says company leaders are realising globally that they need to change how they approach cyber security and risk management.

 

“For decades, IT and business have been separated, with few senior managers or execs understanding the impact that cyber security, or lack thereof, had on the business. This is changing, and company leaders realise that cyber security is not solely a technological issue. It is a business issue that can’t simply be addressed with a few add-on solutions. It must be integrated and aligned with the business objectives. People, processes and technology all work together to form a secure culture.”

 

Ueckermann concludes: “Inculcating a cyber secure culture can create a stronger defence against cyber threats than the most robust technologies or any single policy or procedure. Start building a robust cyber secure culture by embracing cyber security as a core business value, making it a key organisational priority, and reinforcing its importance through ongoing communication, clearly defining policies and procedures, and investing in training.”


For queries or quotes regaring Cyber Risk Insurance please contact our offices via the following methods:
Tel:                   0315021922
whatsapp:        0824508720
e-mail:              andrew@esbrokers.co.za
Website:           www.esbrokers.co.za

 


Article courtesy of IT on line,  by Charles Uechermann