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Irukandji
 
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Have you lost control?

27 May 2012, 18:23

Most modern cars and trucks are fitted with safety features to compensate for the driver’s mistakes. Unfortunately no one has yet come up with the answer to one of the major reasons for the high incidence of accidents in this country, called: “Lost Control.”

This post is not about faecal or urinary incontinence - which is the loss of control over some basic body functions. It is about idiots who should never sit behind the steering wheel of a vehicle - even without the engine running.

Some of the safety features of modern vehicles have been with us for quite some time: Antilock Braking System (ABS), Traction Control (TC), Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA), and Active Braking Systems.

The newer features come straight from Star Trek: Electronic Stability Control, Headup Display, Lanekeeping Assist, Blindspot Warning System, Reversing Camera, and Precrash Safety System.

Have you noticed that, even with all of these gizmos, most accidents occur because the driver “lost control” of the vehicle?

In my forty-odd years of driving (not odd-driving, mind you!), I have not once “lost control” of any wheeled vehicle while driving it. OK, I confess - I did leave a fair amount of skin off my backside on the pavement when that dog ran in front of my bicycle; but that was in standard 6, so it doesn’t count.

Here’s some “lost controls” taken from recent news reports by News24:

“Five people have been killed and 87 have been injured when a bus driver lost control of the vehicle. A 38-year-old motorcyclist has died after he lost control of his bike.

A hijacker hit and killed a street cleaner when he lost control of a stolen car during a high-speed chase.

A 5-year-old boy has died after he and seven other people walking back from church were hit by a car which lost control.

A KwaZulu-Natal man lost control of his vehicle, killing his six passengers.

Fifteen children have been injured when a bakkie lost control on a dirt road.

Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale has been admitted to hospital with minor injuries after the driver of his official car lost control of it.

A driver lost control over this Mercedes Benz after she left the dealership.

A man has been hit by a car and killed while sitting under a tree, after the driver lost control of the vehicle.

Three people have died and five others were injured after the driver of a heavy goods truck lost control on a bend.”

My contention is that most of the “lost controllers” were never in “control,” in the first place. The problem is that the “lost controllers” often kill innocent passengers, other road users, and pedestrians.

It is a well known fact that our roads are swarming with people who should not have been issued with a driver’s license. But, as with most things, it has become the easiest thing in the world to buy a license from some corrupt official.

It is indeed a pity that the police and traffic cops have also lost control of our road users.

The consequence of their inability to apply the law has killed hundreds of innocent people; and put the “lost controllers” firmly in control of the country’s roads.

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