Shikongo urges drunk drivers to ‘take a second’

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Shikongo urges drunk drivers to ‘take a second’

Police chief Joseph Shikongo lauded Namibia Breweries Limited’s responsible drinking campaign, saying it will sensitise drivers on the importance of not driving under the influence of alcohol.

NBL on Monday launched ‘Take a Second’, its latest responsible consumption campaign, which serves as a reminder that it only takes a second to make the right decision. ​Shikongo was among the invited speakers. 

He said the launch of 2022/23 Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) Campaign for Responsible Drinking initiative is very important, as most of the problems on public roads start with a sip of alcohol.  “Being one of the role players in the alcohol-producing industry, I truly believe that NBL is driving a very good initiative to educate the public about the dangers of irresponsible drinking,” he explained. Shikongo added that drinking in itself is not a problem. 

“It makes us happy at times but the problem comes with irresponsible drinking – and, as such, there is indeed a need to draw attention to this topic,” he said. The police chief said traffic laws and regulations are not for decoration but to protect the lives of drivers and other road users. 

“Hence, you may also agree with me that visible and swift law enforcement is an effective way to reduce alcohol-related road crashes.

“You may be all aware that experience has shown that when laws are not accompanied by an effective system of education and enforcement, they would fail to have their desired effect or outcome,” he said.

“It is a fact that some drivers and other road users are often unaware of the risks they run when drinking and tend to undervalue the protective effects of legislation. Thus, it is important to understand why people fail to follow these rules to plan and implement appropriate action,” Shikongo reiterated. 

Therefore, according to him, enforcement is more effective when accompanied by public awareness campaigns that make potential violators believe they are likely to be stopped, leading to a rapid decline in the number of traffic law violations. 

“In addition, random blood alcohol testing and police checkpoints have proven to be effective ways to significantly reduce alcohol-related traffic collisions; hence, the Namibian Police will continue doing just that,” the police chief added.

At the launch event, O&L BrandX managing director (MD) Patricia Hoeksema took the audience through NBL’s past responsible drinking campaigns, including the ‘It’s the Beer that should be Drunk – not you’ campaign in 2003; ‘Welcome to your new life’, and more recently the ‘#TAKES A NATION’ AND ‘#BE THE ONE’ campaigns during the years of the pandemic. 

From drinking and driving to underage drinking, Hoeksema noted how NBL’s campaigns have evolved over the years, with a greater range of stakeholders joining these efforts. 

She said, “as we began to adapt and evolve with the times, our approach began to include a variety of options that spoke to our consumers differently.

NBL MD Marco Wenk introduced the new campaign, stating that all it takes is a second to make the right decision: “Our ‘Take a Second’ campaign will focus on a simple approach and the main message: Take a second to think about the effects of your actions. By capturing the attention of our audience with this message, we intend to ensure the consumer becomes aware of their actions and contemplates whether their behaviour is acceptable or places them and those around them at possible risk.”