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Bheki Dlamini
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Now I’m a lawbreaker, thanks to someone’s incompetence!

28 May 2014, 07:24

I have to say, the markers of our roads have a very important job, it’s a shame they don’t realize that. Their jobs have the potential to ensure the safety of motorists or cause the death of many, depriving many of a breadwinner, father, etc.

I have always been a car fanatic, loved driving and did over 80 thousand kilometres per year, thanks mainly to the nature of my work, until recently anyway. My frequent presence on the roads has made me quite a safety observer. I pay attention to everything that has to do with road safety and to date; I have only been part of one accident in which a driver for a security company came flying into me while trying to overtake along a barrier line, a T-junction, after clearly indicating my intent to turn right.

Driving from Randfontein to Join the N12 towards Soweto, I am always confronted by this solid line running for more than 300 metres through a soft curve. Now this is where it gets frustrating. From any point on that road, you can clearly see for a kilometre away with very little obscurity.

When I first moved to Randfontein a few years ago, I would frequent that road and, at that point, there wasn’t a barrier line. The lines were drawn up so as to allow overtaking, until recently when someone probably thought: why not just draw a solid line? It’s easier and faster.

I can’t help but feel guilty every time that I have to overtake on that stretch of road. I know its safe; it has been so for a number of years, but the fact that the line says, “no overtaking” leaves me feeling a sense of guilty. I end up having to drive behind the motorist driving at 20km/h, not that there’s anything wrong with driving slow on a road with no recommended minimum speed.

I find myself wondering what would happen if the car I am overtaking bumps into me and causes an accident. I will be on the wrong simply because I would be overtaking on a stretch that doesn’t permit overtaking. I know, personally, drivers who don’t know the meaning of some road signs, and to most a line is just a line. This was probably what the security guard thought when he flew into me last year.

But what do you do when faced with a situation where the officials force you to break the law? Yes. I know the immediate solution would be to get some tires burn them while waving placards in protest while at the same time burning the lines black. Of course I don’t mean that.

Under normal circumstances all one would do is contact the traffic department and notify them of the matter, which exposes a few more problems with the system.

How did the service provide get paid for the work if it’s not completed in accordance with what the legislation say?

What about our law enforcers? Are they not conversant with the law? They frequently drive on that road and would have noticed that something is wrong with the markings by now.

I have always believed that in order to solve a problem the root cause needs to be identified. I see incompetence all the way from the top.

What do you think?

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