I live in Pretoria/ Tshwane, where driving is a type of gambling… Drivers ignore pedestrians who ignore drivers who ignore trucks who ignore busses who ignore taxis who ignore motorcyclists who ignore cyclists who ignore traffic lights and rules.
I’ve been thinking about what happened to olympic cyclist Burry Stander (killed on a training ride by a driver who did not see him) and how this has sparked a sense of outrage and horror among cyclists and others.
I’m no great cyclist, but I do love being on a bike and would love to be in a position of safety.
If we look at Burry’s death in a broader context of +- 13500 people killed South African roads each year, I wonder if the problem is not a broader issue of discipline, rather than bad enforcement and rule ignorance. If we take out the 1300 deaths for dec, we’re still left with12 200 deaths over 11 months. This is a disaster akin the the crisis (what crisis?) in education and healthcare.
Unlike education and healthcare which are far more ‘institutionalized’ crises, Road discipline is something that we can all do something about personally.
I wonder if we don’t need to assert a need for personal discipline, personal choices? I personally am so over any form of government intervention and mass demonstrations (march, t-shirt, memorandum- problem solved).
Like the Lead-SA initiative, a personal call to be personally disciplined and to be able to live with those who are not personally disciplined might be the only way to turn this around.
Recently, I’ve been picked out about reading/ checking my phone at traffic lights. It’s become an unconscious habit and my passenger was horrified. It takes real discipline not to do this…
As I join the rush home tomorrow from the country so that real work can start on Monday, I will stick to the speed limit and take it easy. I only hope others will try too.
Anyway, these are early thoughts, something I personally try to do and something I preach about. Think about it, no hassle, no pressure. This might be the right time for discipline.
Peace for 2013.