Drive Like Lightning, Crash Like Thunder!

– by A.B. du Preez.

“Drive like lightning, crash like thunder!” This is what a huge billboard warned near Eastgate, many years ago when I was a lot younger, and should  be brought back again today, vigorously!

Just a month ago I was stuck on a Highway for about an hour in sweltering mid-afternoon heat, after a massive accident. Another incident was a few months ago, where I fortunately was on the opposite side of the highway heading south while there was a massive build up of traffic going in the opposite direction, who unfortunately were stuck in dreadfully heavy traffic, I imagine for some hours! This besides the dreadful slaughter of human life on our roads, is extremely detrimental to our whole economy.

Am sure this is becoming almost an expected norm, when one approaches a highway today, although it shouldn’t be the case, as one’s supposed to have a smooth flow through.

This carnage on our roads, as I in my 71st year observe it, is due to the following:

  1. Huge lack of courtesy. The Department of Transport, in it’s Draft document, June 2012, says on page 1. “This manual has been written to help you become a safer, more considerate and more courteous driver, making our roads safer for all road users.” All learners should be drilled throughout their learning, to be courteous (where have normal manners disappeared to?)! Quebec have some good things to say about courtesy, kindly see this link: A thought here, that impatience is part of the problem here; people just assume they are the only ones on the road!
  2. High speed, coupled with item 3. below:
  3. Highly powered vehicles, too quick on acceleration. The cars of today are extremely powerful on acceleration and achieve higher speeds more quickly, leaving less room for error. It is suggested here that younger and less experienced drivers, should have limiters on their engines, so as to inhibit excess power which is not needed on our roads. Bearing in mind that 120 kilometers per hour is our South African maximum speed limit – which should be enforced stringently (obviously a little past this may be achieved for marginal error.). How often do we see the more powerful vehicles zooming past one, when we are travelling close to 120? When someone is caught in a trap, I advocate that the person be given a half hour cool-off period, just safely off the Road, where they are shown actual horrific videos or pictures of accidents and demonstrating severe injuries sustained by people, due to high speed. If one disregards this into the future then more severe penalties must be enforced – all of our lives are at stake here! The new Aarto Amendment Bill link, please read this: Gigantic trucks, as well as colossal buses are increasingly becoming a menace on our roads. The past track record of many Taxis doesn’t need revamping here! Trucks where they have 80 speed limit, emblazoned on their vehicles, and they go thundering past, where drivers often hunched over the wheel, as if they are driving a small sedan cars  – some real horror smashes recently!
  4. New Road Law (Lore), a massive disregard for current Law. People ignoring robots if working, changing of lanes, weaving as if they are on a Racing circuit, so much could be said here.

In conclusion, many folk in Johannesburg, Roodepoort area, will remember a brilliantly kind gentleman, Hennie Steyn, of Steyn Signs, who used to always say when we said good-byes in parting: “Journeys Mercies”, at the time did not fully comprehend, but I do now as I say always when about to travel to the closest point from anywhere: “Journeying Mercies!” which means we invoke God’s Powerful Presence into our journeying, with His Angels guarding along too!  Psalm 91 The Message (MSG) 1-13 “You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,Say this: “God, you’re my refuge.
I trust in you and I’m safe!”That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. His huge outstretched arms protect you—
under them you’re perfectly safe;    his arms fend off all harm.Fear nothing-…”

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