Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
FROM December 15 2008 to January 15 2009 an average of 30 people died daily on our country's roads. Many more were seriously injured, often spending months in hospital or facing the prospect of permanent disability.
And we are not even referring to thousands of minor accidents that turned the long-anticipated holidays into instant nightmares of damaged vehicles, crippling repair costs, police reports, claims and counter-claims.
It would be naive to think that the accident toll will be significantly lower this year. If anything, it could even be higher.
Now, what can we as motorists do to avoid becoming part of these depressing statistics?
Quite a lot, in fact:
l I know you have heard this before, but it has to be said again: Speed kills. Excessive speed is the most common contributory factor in fatal accidents. Nobody is suggesting that we should crawl along at 80kmh on an open road - a little bit of moderation is all that's called for. The energy released in a collision at 140kmh is almost twice the amount released at 100kmh.
l Careless, thoughtless or reckless behaviour is the next most common factor. This includes perilous overtaking, weaving, impulsive lane-changing, tailgating and jumping red robots.
l Drunken driving is such an incredibly stupid thing to do . The legal limits for breath alcohol content (the figure given by a breathalyser test), as well as blood alcohol concentration (determined by analysing a blood sample) are strict - two beers in the last two hours and you are probably already over the limits. Three, and they lock you up for the night.
lWhat is it with us motorists that we cannot form the firm habit of always wearing seat belts? Years ago, it was common to see motorcyclists riding bare-headed. Nowadays, not even the greatest daredevil of riders will go in traffic without a crash helmet. Motorcyclists put up with the heat inside the helmet on a summer's day and the inconvenience of carrying the thing around.
Why then can't we buckle up in a car?
lDistracted drivers are the commonest cause of accidents in general. Here are some of the distractions that can divert a driver's attention:
(1) Talking on a cellphone;
(2) Rubbernecking at an accident scene ;
(3) Being preoccupied with children; and
(4) Adjusting a radio or CD player.
l Driver fatigue is another cause of accidents at this time of the year. We all know the symptoms - the heavy eyelids, the frequent yawning, later on the vehicle beginning to drift across road lines, things "jumping out" in the road ... but by that stage you should long have stopped. A good night's sleep before the start of the journey helps to prevent the dangerous drowsiness. But the best antidote is a passenger that talks incessantly.
lUnroadworthy vehicles account for a far smaller percentage of crashes than human error and recklessness, but at least it's something over which we have control. Focus on the "life and limb" components - brakes, tyres, lights and steering.
l Spare a thought for pedestrians. It's holiday time, there are all sorts of festivities taking place. Accept that some pedestrians will be somewhat unsteady on their feet.
l Finally, live and let live in the season of goodwill. Tolerate the aggressive and abusive driver, the tailgater, the selfish oaf with his overloaded trailer who refuses to pull off to let the long line of cars behind him pass. Relax, put a Nat King Cole CD on ... and enjoy your trip.