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Sipho Dlamini
 
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Reduce Road Carnage Now

04 January 2014, 14:29

When we talk about traffic carnage, everyone here immediately homes in on taxis. In fact, no one on this site is any less than a perfect driver. Me, I'm an ordinary guy, and very much not a perfect driver, like everyone else on the road except you. I'm one of those out there causing accidents.

So we could ban me from the roads, or we could face facts, everyone needs to use the roads. So rather make them safer. And the best way is by reducing road diversity.

Look at the range of users on the road. Trucks. Taxis. 4x4s. We ignore motorbikes and bicycles, because anyone still crazy enough to use any of these sensible modes of transport among the careless SUVs on our roads will soon be dead anyway.

All these vehicles and drivers have very different objectives, driving styles, levels of aggression and speeds. We need to limit these differences as much as possible. This would mean seriously discouraging dangerous means of transportation, such as fast 4x4s (dangerous to other road users), and seriously encouraging safe means of transport, that is, small and slow cars. Electronic speed and acceleration limiters on all vehicles should be mandatory. Speed must be controlled by the amount of energy cars are allowed to displace on the road. Therefore smaller, lighter cars should be allowed to go faster than bigger, heavier cars, taxis and trucks.

We need to get rid of this idea that the public roads are places to show off our individuality. That can be done at home. On the roads, only one colour car (white) and possibly a maximum of 5 basic models should be allowed. No darkened windows, etc. If driving were less "fun", the roads would be less congested, but that's another story.

So often we see the ridiculous comment that speed is disconnected from road safety. All research has proven otherwise. Cutting speeds must be the number one priority, and with it we will cut aggression and associated road law infringements such as reckless driving, dangerous overtaking and jumping traffic lights.

It is time to stop pussy-footing around. Enough talking. Enough "encouraging" aggressive, high speed 4x4s and others to control their behaviour. Its time to get serious and put a stop to the road carnage for good. In fact it should be a crime to effectively ignore it any longer.

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