PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
KerrynK
 
Comments: 9
Article views: 1910
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all KerrynK's badges.
 

Will we remember Burry in 6 months time?

04 January 2013, 14:03

The death of Burry Stander is appalling.

But what is likely to be more shocking is that it is meaningless. That our current feeling of tragedy, of frustration and anger, our need to insist and see action will quickly fade.

Tomorrow it will be another day. By next week Burry will be another death on our roads.

And by next month we will all have collectively shrugged our shoulders and moved on, leaving a broken family and friends to deal with the tragedy.

Remember the two buses that collided in the Eastern Cape in July? One carrying primary school kids on their way to inter-school rugby and the other mourners en route to a funeral? That killed 18.

The week before a train sliced through a truck carrying workers in Mpumalanga. That killed 20.

And a few weeks before that a bus toppled off a bridge in Meyerton. That killed 19.

Remember them?

Remember the 14 people killed in a taxi accident outside Bronkhorstspruit this New Year’s week?

Accident figures have become numbers to us. We are inured to the horror of the accident. It becomes a headline that we acknowledge, but our response is rote.

Following the Eastern Cape crash in July, President Zuma told the country that his “thoughts and prayers were with the families.” Our Deputy Transport Minister urged that “no stone be left unturned in the investigation.” Education Minister Angie Motshekga turned her attention away from distributing textbooks to send her “deepest condolences.”

These trite clichés represent our collective response to our roads.

By cushioning ourselves in the platitudes of sympathy we get to ignore the realities of ripped metal, twisted bicycle tyres, body parts and broken families.

So what does it actually take for us to be so shocked and appalled that we will collectively take action?

We seem to be more incensed by the “murder” (as one campaign is phrasing it) of rhino’s than we are about the 13,000 people who don’t make it home each year, because they were on a road. And that’s the conservative figure – medical journal The Lancet reports it at 16,000.  Whichever way you look at it, that’s more than 35 people a day who die whilst getting from A to B. They are shoppers, workers, cyclists, commuters  – it’s you and me.

Arrive Alive trots out its holiday campaigns and we’re told how unsafe our roads are during Easter and Christmas – conveniently forgetting that over a thousand people die in every non-holiday month.

Neither do our statistics give us decent figures to work with. The 2011 Road Traffic Report is peppered with disclaimers: one in bold tells us that the fatality figures are likely to “increase dramatically” this year (2012) because of improved standards in reporting. This has just happened – making 2011 our deadliest year to date.

Our situation is so bad that even the vast machinery of the World Health Organisation is mobilising around it.

By 2020, they estimate that more people will die on roads than will die through HIV and Malaria.

Ironically, this may be represent a glimmer of hope: because as with the early days of HIV, we seem to require the machinery of the international community to kick in, to fund – and therefore mobilise – us out of our tolerance.  

It is this apathy we have to change.

We must give to our roads the same level of energy and passion we give to emotive causes like rhino poaching. We need to be responsible. We need to end this fratricide.

Because we are all culpable.

An accident by definition, is an event that is unplanned and unforeseen.

So let’s treat accidents as they are – events that we should avoid at all costs - and not as we do: as Fate playing her hand, as events that are out of our conscience, as long as it doesn’t happen to me.

Burry was one of our greatest sportsmen. He was 25. Let us remember his death in a week, a month a year, and years to come. Let his dying on a roadside in KwaZulu Natal be the moment where we stop with the platitudes, and respond with action and change.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
archibald
Life after death

The only evidence we do have of what LIFE is, is the testimonies of those who actually left their bodies to have seen the real force that lives inside their body.  Read more...

16 comments 490 views
Submitted by
PeterTracey
Why I’m no DA fan

This Maimane fellow from the DA was as boring as an 80 year old German padre and does not seem to relate to our country’s history and the struggles of the ordinary person in the street. Read more...

10 comments 485 views
Submitted by
Yacoob80
Surviving the dark: a cancer surv...

Two days have passed since my last treatment. My body nauseated, weak. Legs feeling like jelly, chest burning…burning like nothing I have experienced before. Read more...

4 comments 237 views
Submitted by
KzA
(Oc)cult(anity)eism?

Years ago as a teen growing up I was, in my biased view at least, a vociferously devout Christian.  Read more...

31 comments 751 views
Submitted by
The Fox 5366
No electricity, so what?

I woke up on Saturday with a few plans in mind, like most people. Around 10:00 the electricity failed, so those plans changed. Read more...

39 comments 1057 views
Submitted by
Terrylin Backpackers
Rain, Old Furniture, Fat People a...

The Broadway Hotel in Blackpool fined a couple for posting a terrible TripAdvisor review, their reasons being a 'damage control price' on its online reputation. As I had no idea what they were on about, I looked them up and clearly Gordon Ramsay needs to check-in asap. Read more...

3 comments 1045 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.