Lock up road lunatics

Eduard Sjouerman, Hout Bay

On Saturday March 4 we got that much-feared phone call from a very nice man who started by saying, “Your son is alright …” And, fortunately, he was: duly looked after in hospital after a nasty motorbike accident on Main Road here in Hout Bay.

Our boy was lucky because he rode at a low speed and was well fitted out with proper protective clothing. If either of the two above facts had been otherwise the outcome of the accident would certainly have been vastly different. His new big bike was a write-off.

He collided with a taxi that unexpectedly reversed (yes, reversed!) at speed right across Main Road without the driver so much as having a look to make sure that he could reverse to complete one of those frequently executed highly illegal and dangerous U-turns.

We all know about the awful road behaviour of far too many taxis and we also know that the little bit of law enforcement that we have is concentrated mainly on roadblocks to check whatever needs to be checked, but the real culprits, who drive like lunatics with complete disregard for road signs and normal traffic rules and often drive with impunity in
visibly unroadworthy vehicles are hardly ever stopped and dealt

Our number of road deaths and injured far exceeds most other countries because of those cowboys and our ongoing lack of proper and sustained law enforcement.

That is, of course, apart from the day of the opening of Parliament when all of a sudden dozens of law enforcement cars and motorbikes are all over us.

Of course, alcohol abuse and speeding are adding to the carnage on our roads but the main problems are
not so hard at all to identify:

1. The police should have the right, which they apparently do not have at the moment, to haul unroadworthy cars off the road. Just
giving a fine and
letting the culprit drive away does absolutely nothing for safety on the roads.

2. The Wild West grossly and criminally irresponsible drivers should be locked up for the night to appear in court the next day where appropriate minimum sentences can be meted out. Strong measures are urgently called for to address a truly critical situation!

A big thank you to the paramedics and men from the fire brigade who attended with speed and compassion to
the severe injuries of our son. 10 out of 10, guys!