Monday, December 11, 2006

Cars cause accidents?

I am sure, that having read the subject to this post, you are thinking, "Yea! Thanks for stating the obvious!"

Well, let me explain!

One can also say, "Guns kill!" Well, is that simply stating the obvious? I don't think so!

You see, cars and guns are inanimate objects. They can do nothing of themselves. Hence, cars do not cause accidents and guns don't kill!

In both these cases, the causing agent is the human race. Human beings cause accidents and kill!

Now, to the cars...

Yesterday, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe, at the closing ceremony of the 16 Days of Activism against Women and Child Abuse Campaign, said that "last year alone, 600 000 vehicles were bought, which translated to a drastic increase in our vehicle population and more drivers on our roads."

He first said that due to economic growth, there is an increase in accidents because there are more cars on the road. He only added the "drivers" later in his speech.

I personally do not think that cars and economic growth are the problem!

Driving just for one day on our roads makes it clear that those driving on our roads do not care much for the rules of the road!

Some of these rules that mean nothing to a whole lot of road users are:

  • Speed limits
  • Following distance
  • Lane change indications
  • Turn signaling
  • Solid white, yellow and red lines
  • Driving without seatbelts
  • Speaking on cell phones without using hands-free kits
  • Not stopping at stop signs
  • Using vehicles that are definitely NOT road worthy
  • and many more...
IMHO, it is much too easy to get a driver's license in this country. All the common mistakes that people make on the road are proof enough of that!

The fact that so many people snub the rules of the road also point to some other factors:
  1. There is not a strong enough presence of traffic officers on our roads, and coupled with that;
  2. Traffic officers are not consistent in their legal right to enforce the rules of the road when there are infringements on the road
Infringing on the rules of the road should be dealt with by the authorities, otherwise, the carnage on our roads will continue.

It should also not be easy to get a driver's license. Prospective licensees should prove their skill in driving, beyond driving around for a while and doing proper parking.

There are just too many people who do not care about the rules of the road. Until this problem is sorted out, we will continue to see too many people die on our roads!


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