Wednesday, 18 July 2007

It's a looong..looong road

Has anyone noticed that the lawlessness on the roads has got so much worse over the last few years [particularly in terms of people’s driving abilities]? I cannot believe how many people break the road laws in this country and I am not only talking about speeding. Being a mother, I am very conscious of driving well as I have precious cargo. It does however seem to me that a large number of the driving population have started driving like bad taxi drivers….and THAT is bad. It appears to be a kind of ‘they can do it, so can I’ approach.
Every morning and afternoon, without fail, I see taxis breaking the road laws. Whether it be by driving into the on-coming traffic to get ahead, racing up the inside lanes and then trying to push in over a solid white line or jumping a BRIGHT red traffic light. I am in awe of how often I see this and I am more frustrated at the absence of police to manage the situation. In fact I have often seen the metro police watch as taxis blatantly break road rules. I would love to have a ‘copper’ in the car with me some mornings just to point out the regular occurrences at the same places every morning…and to ask why are they not there.
In all fairness I have come across one or two polite taxi drivers, and they have really made my day. This morning however, was one of those days when I was unfortunate. As I pulled off from a traffic light, a taxi jumped the intersection, I hooted, he slowed down and then wound down his window and proceeded to shout drunken verbal obscenities at me [my daughter was not in the car… thank heavens]. To be honest I normally ignore this kind of driving [I learnt that a long time ago-I was getting so upset it was not worth it], but this morning I got such a fright my instant reaction was to hoot. I was actually a little afraid and then I got angry as I feel that my rights relating to safety on the road are being violated every day and if I attempt to ‘fight back’ the chances are I will be injured or worse [how do the actual passangers feel!! How awful to put your life in the hands of a bad driver every day]. Is that democratic? Is that fair? Surely, good policing is the only way to sort this out? BUT the reality is that taxis have been the same for ages, what is worrying me more now is the normal passenger cars that are jumping on board with the same practices… following suit.
What is your opinion… what can we do about this? Is there really a solution? Is it something the police need to work on? AND do you really think the average driver has any voice in this whole sad, dangerous story....... as a woman on the road I feel pretty powerless.


Donna said...

I think we are pretty screwed in this country when it comes to bad driving because the people here aren't considerate of one another and that's were it starts, obviously not everyone, but most people! The police should be all over these rule breakers and fining them big time and they're not and thats also a HUGE problem. The other thing is that people are too scared to actually react when someone is doing something wrong (like breaking the law) for the pure reason of getting killed, so the bad drivers just get away with it day in and day out. If we could all react its human nature to actually be a little concerned about what wrong you've done which would then make the rule breakers more aware and finally make them stop breaking the law....but I think all the above only happens in first world counties so I'm not sure what the answer is or if there is one - sorry to be so negative!! :(

Mands said...

Most South Africans have no respect for the law probably because Metro Police has no respect either. I can't tell you how many times I have seen Metro Police drive past me and change lanes without indicating, or driving through red robots and talking on cell phones it boggles the mind. I think it is a case of if they can do it why can't I. It also amazes me how many times I have seen someone breaking the law and a Metro Police car will just drive past them without pulling them over.