It’s the crazy season, again. Our roads are going to be busy. Please take care. Every, “things fall apart”, will be smoking in some direction. Burglars and petty thieves will be busy.
A time for celebration can very easily become one of misery and inexplicable pain. All because of someone’s egotism and irresponsibility. I have a special disdain for road bigots.
You know, I have had two horrific rollovers. I have seen my efforts to bring my car back under control fail. But the God I serve prevailed and, here I am. I nurse a hurting shoulder but I am otherwise fine. Some have not been as fortunate. They are permanently disabled. Some have lost their lives. It all came down to a bad decision by someone. It is sad.
It is not nice emerging out of debris with blood oozing from several cuts on your body and glass particles in your mouth and your eyes. I have experienced that violent, spinning motion. I have mumbled a prayer of forgiveness in two seconds. I have consciously waited for that violent transition to the other side. Some of you would relate. You have been there. Each time I have come out of the debris, I have looked to heaven and thanked God that I had survived to tend my kids just one more day.
Well, I could still die, God forbid. I make a lot of enemies. Some hate me for my work - God bless their ignorance. I do not claim that there is no danger outside road-traffic accidents. Duma Boko, my former lecturer for Jurisprudence, used to say that every-time a man or woman left the home they took a risk. They could get hit by a car, fall into a ditch, die from a stray bullet. He said that much worse could happen – they could fall in love.
Consider this time when this other character was driving and texting. My vehicle was parked by the roadside outside my office gate. In his moment of inattention (I think he was “sexting” someone’s wife because some lady with a wedding ring, clearly not his wife emerged shortly thereafter) his vehicle went off course and crashed onto mine. Thankfully, no one got hurt.
And then there was this other time three years ago, when I woke up to news that three very close relatives had perished in a car accident. Some boys had imbibed all night. Under the influence of drinks and perhaps arrogance, they wondered into their lane. I lost three immediate relatives that day. We buried them on the same day, side by side. It still hurts deeply when I think of it. God forbid that someone else should go through that experience. And, it could have been avoided.
Accidents happen. Sometimes it’s simply a tyre burst as was the case on my last rollover. It could be a new tyre, for that. We can only leave such cases to God. But I can imagine putting my family in a car this December, and embarking upon the journey to my home village. The A1 is a dance with satan, that’s a fact. And, I do not pretend that other roads are any better. There is always a crazy driver on the road parading empty egotism and gambling with other people’s lives. The arrogant idiots are many. They are generally identifiable by two attributes. They either drive very expensive cars or very cheap ones.
This is my solution. If you are twice above the legally permissible maximum, there must be a compulsory one month imprisonment on conviction. I mean, no suspended sentence. No fine.
If you are doing more than 180kms per hour, you must suffer the same fate whether you are cruising on a Range Rover or some acquisition from the far east.
What more? Causing death by dangerous driving must be obliterated from the Road Traffic Act. It must be charged as manslaughter and punished as such. The arrogant idiots who play loud music, drag race on taking off at traffic lights and gamble with our lives on A1 must go to jail for one at least month and I hope they are greeted at the cell door by a man with Vaseline in hand.
But that only comes after conviction. If you are caught doing 180km/h the car must be impounded. You can get it after 30 days. You are a danger to yourself and others. You deserve to be in a bus or walking.
Look, it doesn’t make sense just taking licences. They don’t need a licence to drive. They drive, anyway. Besides, it is not just the guys without licences that kill people. It is you and I, who went through a test and the motley lot whose licences were delivered to their homes.
We are losing hundreds of lives every year to road accidents. Families are grieved and rendered destitute, children are orphaned, widows and widowers are made by the dozen. All this because of some ill-mannered road user who is rushing to buy liquor or to infect someone with an STI. We have to take a tough position against this lot. We must find a way of removing them from our roads permanently or they will remove us till kingdom come!