Nicro News

NICRO Responds to Crime Stats indicating South Africans are Under Siege

The recent release of the crime statistics report, which details crime levels in South Africa between April 1, 2016 and March 31 this year, has once again solicited mixed reactions from Government, political parties and civil society.

The Making of a Criminal: Part 2

We are delighted to invite you to participate in our exciting events we are hosting at the Artscape Theatre from 28 to 30 September.

Confessions of a Shoplifter

I started shoplifting when I was six years old.

The percentage of teens in high school who drink and drive has decreased by more than half since 1991, but more can be done.

Nearly one million high school teens drank alcohol and got behind the wheel in recent years. Teen drivers are 3 times more likely than more experienced drivers to be in a fatal crash. Drinking any alcohol greatly increases this risk for teens.

Research has shown that factors that help to keep teens safe include parental involvement, minimum legal drinking age and zero tolerance laws. These proven steps can protect the lives of more young drivers and everyone who shares the road with them.

*High school students aged 16 years and older who, when surveyed, said they had driven a vehicle one or more times during the past 30 days when they had been drinking alcohol.

Drinking and driving can be deadly, especially for teens

  • Fewer teens are drinking and driving, but this risky behaviour is still a major threat.
    Drinking and driving among teens in high school has gone down by 54% since 1991. Still, high school teens drive after drinking about 2.4 million times a month.
  • 85% of teens in high school who report drinking and driving in the past month also say they binge drank. In the survey, binge drinking was defined as having 5 or more alcoholic drinks within a couple of hours.
    1 in 5 teen drivers involved in fatal crashes had some alcohol in their system in 2010. Most of these drivers (81%) had BACs* higher than the legal limit for adults.

*Blood alcohol concentration. The legal limit is a breath alcohol content of 0.24mg per 1,000ml, or a blood alcohol limit of 0.05g per 100ml.

What Can Be Done

Communities can

  • Increase awareness among teens and parents by getting involved with non-profit organisations such as NICRO.
  • Strengthen enforcement of existing policies, such as minimum legal drinking age and zero tolerance laws.

Paediatricians, NICRO and other health professionals can

  • Screen teens for risky behaviours, including the following:
    - Using alcohol, drugs or other substances
    - Driving after alcohol or drug use
    - Riding with a driver who has been using alcohol or drugs
  • Educate parents and teens about the risks of drinking and driving.
    Encourage parents of new teen drivers to set and enforce the "rules of the road" and consider tools like parent-teen driving agreements.
    Remind parents to lead by example as safe drivers, starting even before their child is old enough to drive.

Teens can

  • Choose to never drink and drive.
  • Refuse to ride in a car with a teen driver who has been drinking.
  • Know and follow the laws.
  • Follow "rules of the road" in their parent-teen driving agreement.
  • Wear a seat belt on every trip, no matter how short.
  • Obey speed limits.
  • Never use a cell phone or text while driving.

Parents can

  • Understand that most teens who drink do so to get drunk.
  • Recognize the dangers of teen drinking and driving and that teen drivers are at much greater risk of crashing after drinking alcohol than adult drivers.
  • Provide teens with a safe way to get home (such as picking them up or paying for a cab) if their driver has been drinking.
  • Model safe driving behaviour.
  • Consider tools like parent-teen driving agreements to set and enforce the "rules of the road" for new drivers. Safe driving habits for teens include the following:
    - Never drink and drive
    - Follow the laws
    - Wear a seat belt on every trip
    - Limit night-time driving
    - Set a limit on the number of teen passengers
    - Never use a cell phone or text while driving
    - Obey speed limits

Across the world young people – some as young as 15 -- can obtain driver’s licenses under graduated license programs. Unfortunately these youthful drivers -- though prohibited from buying alcohol until a certain age– are generating some sobering drunk driving statistics!