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Sensible driving to end 'new sport' road killing

By unknown | Jun 12, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

There are many accidents on the roads these days that make one reluctant to travel anywhere.

The commute to work has become a hysterical, panic-driven prayer that leaves one depressed for the rest of the day. It does not help that the afternoon journey back home is the same.

It seems to be a little better than in the past when we had taxi drivers who literally scared us to death. There was a notorious driver in Katlehong whose favourite line was "Seven minutes to Joburg".

He made a point of maintaining his reputation daily and even tried to break that record. Those were scary days indeed.

Today the taxis are thankfully driven by family men who want to live long enough to see their grandchildren. They drive sensibly and keep to the speed limit.

A few do hop between lanes, but now that the Metro cops are more visible, they behave.

Commuters who are late bemoan the fact that drivers no longer use the emergency lane to gain a few minutes on the commute to the Joburg CBD.

But it is profitless to use the emergency lane these days. South Africans, who are fond of killing each other, have found a new outlet for their gory sport.

There is a serious accident on the road every day.

I use three taxis to work and sometimes there is an accident on all three routes.

Most of the cars involved are these tiny matchboxes that the Model Cs call "starter packs".

The cars might be a first-time buyer's dream, but the drivers hunched in them are big, hairy men past their youth.

We used to judge a man by the size of his car when South Africans still adored the vulgar American Chevrolets.

You remember those cars with fins and lots of shiny chrome?

Well, these days the bad drivers ride BMWs. I cannot swear to this, but many people say so.

The cars then crawl past the accident while the drivers and the passengers crane their necks to ogle the scene, marvel at the redesigned wrecks and count the bodies.

There is no mistaking the glee in people's remarks if the cars are BMWs or Mercedes-Benzes.

The expressions of sympathy are devoid of sincerity.

These delays add minutes to the drive to work.

Before, bosses accepted the excuse that the taxi broke down, was ticketed by the cops or failed to arrive.

But the repeated excuse of an accident raises eyebrows the same way as the famous request for a week off to bury a mother-in-law or grandmother.

We are known to "kill" off a grandmother twice a year so as to go to Durban to cool off.

This new sport, which compares to the bloody sports of the Romans, is a serious indictment of our people.

It should be stopped before it becomes a way of life.


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