SERENGETI Breweries Limited (SBL) has extended responsible drinking campaign to reach motorcyclists, 'boda boda riders' among the road users most prone to fatalities caused by drink-drive.
The SBL Director of Corporate Relations, John Wanyancha, said responsible drinking campaign, 'Don't Drink and Drive', aims at building awareness to all road users that an alcohol consumer need not to get addicted and that they can drink responsibly without causing unprecedented incidences.
"SBL is supporting the government and other key stakeholders in ensuring that the community especially drivers who are most prone to drink-induced accidents are sensitized on the dangers of irresponsible drinking," he said.
The latest statistics show that over 8,000 people died from motor-cycle accidents across Tanzania over the past 10 years-an average of 800 deaths a year-with 35,231 others seriously injured.
The beer-maker and traffic police recently gathered scores of boda boda riders in Moshi, Kilimanjaro where besides educating them on road safety and responsible alcohol consumption also provided them with reflective jackets that would ensure easier identification by other road users ultimately enhancing road safety.
For the past five years, SBL has embarked on 'Don't Drink and Drive' campaign to tackle the misuse of alcohol, with a special focus to motorists, drivers and pedestrians and also students in the higher learning institutions.
The Kilimanjaro Regional Traffic Police Officer, Zauda Mohammed, commended SBL for the initiative and by engaging police in the campaign thus supporting the law enforcement teams in the region to create awareness on the dangers of irresponsible drinking among the motorcyclist, motorists and other road users.
"We all know that alcoholism is more often than not, linked to reckless driving which at most time leads to serious road accidents causing loss and injuries in the society. The impacts go further to endangering the lives of others, thus losing or disabling many people who would have contributed to social-economic growth," she said.
She noted also that the resultant accidents from irresponsible alcohol consumption have serious impacts on the health sector by increasing budget through treatment and the provision of other services to the victims.
"These accidents also overburden our law enforcement officers because they have to daily handle scores of traffic cases which could otherwise been avoided by practicing responsible drinking," she said.
However, it appears that there is a steady decrease in the past five years' in which the death toll from boda boda accidents dropped by 50 per cent.
The decline in boda boda fatalities is attributed to frequent police operations and educational campaigns by the force and other road safety stakeholders.
Granted, SBL, through its campaign dubbed, 'Drink Better, not More', is among the stakeholders that have been waging a concerted war to combat irresponsible drinking in the society.
According to health experts, motor cycle accidents are among the leading causes of injuryrelated deaths and disability in the country.