Do not drink and drive. Indeed, if you are a member of a group involved in some social activity that may involve drinking, nominate a member of that group, who must not drink and who will be responsible for driving others home.”
These were the words of the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr Peter Ndegwa, to motorists.
Ndegwa said this while handing over alcohol test machines to the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Lagos Sector Commander, Hyginus Omeje, during the Guinness Nigeria/FRSC Ember month campaign at Ikeja, Lagos.
Ndegwa was joined by the company’s Corporate Relations Director, Mr Sesan Sobowale and Policy and Public Affairs Head, Michael Onuoha.
According to him, the months, leading to the festive end of the year, popularly referred to as “ember months” have historically recorded a disproportionately high rate of road traffic accidents in Nigeria, making the campaign particularly imperative at this period”.
This year’s awareness campaign, he said, will see the introduction of various novel and innovative strategies geared towards raising public awareness on the benefits of responsible alcohol consumption.
He said:“At Guinness Nigeria, we believe that our position as a market leader places a significant responsibility on us to raise awareness about the importance of consuming alcohol responsibly. We are committed to responsible drinking and enlightening the public about the values of responsible alcohol consumption, especially during the festive period.
“We are eager to increase awareness to ensure that Nigerians have an incident-free experience. Working in tandem with our various stakeholders on our responsible drinking initiatives, we have found a worthy partner in the FRSC, with whom on an annual basis, we have carried out this Ember Months campaign.”
Ndegwa reiterated that drinking and driving do not mix, saying: “When you drink, don’t drive. When you go out in a group to have fun, designate someone to drive and that person should not drink. If you are going out alone, arrange for taxi to take you home after you have had some drink. Whatever you do this season, don’t drink and drive”.
Activities to mark this year’s programme include: joint road shows to create awareness of drink-driving, radio and TV talk shows and for the first time, random testing of motorists with breathalyzer to check their blood alcohol concentration levels.
Omeje urged motorists to obey traffic laws, avoid overloading and avoid driving under the influence of alcohol.
“Before now, all we had done in terms of enforcement have been based on sobriety tests, which can’t be used to prosecute offenders successfully. However, with the kind donation of breathalyzers by Guinness Nigeria, we would be able to prosecute drivers successfully. And when we prosecute, one, two, five, 10 drivers successfully, you discover that the news will spread very fast and produce the behavioural change which this awareness campaign is expected to usher in,” he said.
Source: The Nation Nigeria