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The stats around drinking and driving in South Africa are frightening: “More than 21 000 people have been arrested on our roads in the last year as a result of drinking and driving, and it has been shown that 50% of people who die on our roads are over the limit,” says Gary Ronald, head of public affairs for the AA (Automobile Association of South Africa).
Thankfully, there is an increasing number of options available to ensure you don’t drive drunk.
Designated driving services
There is a variety of services across South Africa to ensure you never drive after having had one too many.
There is a variety of services across South Africa that you can sign-up for to make sure you never drive after having had one too many. If you’re out on the town and have had too much to drink, you can request to be picked up. Or you can pre-book a driver ahead of time.
A driver will be sent to collect you – and drive you home in your own car. A support vehicle follows and the driver will be collected once you’re safely at home. You usually pay an annual or monthly subscription fee for access to the service and may have additional charges per km.
Here are a few designated driving services currently available in SA:
Nite Owls – Available in Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. You don’t have to be a member to use the service.
Good Fellas – Started in Port Elizabeth in 2004, Good Fellas is available in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, East London, Bloemfontein and the Southern Cape.
Scooter Angels – Available in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria, the service started out using scooters to transport its drivers but has since migrated to cars.
1fortheroad – Available in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, there are a variety of different monthly packages on offer.
Taxi on call: Uber
Launched in South Africa this year, the Uber taxi service is disrupting the transport industry internationally. You can request a taxi from anywhere, you are driven in a great car and don’t have to worry about cash. Once you’ve downloaded the app to your phone and linked your credit card, you’ll never have to use cash to pay for an Uber taxi again.
Through the app, you can request a taxi at the touch of a button. The nearest Uber taxi will respond and you’ll be picked up in a stylish car, usually within minutes. You can see exactly where the taxi is via the app, and there is also a photograph of the taxi driver so that you can easily identify him or her. It’s an extremely convenient service and is available in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.
Coming soon: The Night Bus
Scheduled to launch in 2014, the Johannesburg Night Bus will connect people to major nightlife areas and universities between 7pm and 4am every Friday and Saturday night. The tickets will cost R30 per night, with no limit on how often you use it. Subscribe to the Night Bus newsletter via the website for updates.