Reflections of a walker

2013-12-27 00:00

AS a child I was embarrassingly unathletic. As an adult I dabbled in intermittent running (well, jogging) and cycling. Then, having achieved three-score years largely uneventfully, genetics caught up with me and lying in ICU I decided that daily exercise had become an attractive proposition.

And then there are the drivers. Walking may have reduced my chances of another heart attack, but raised astronomically the risk of becoming a road accident statistic. A significant number of Pietermaritzburg drivers are clearly homicidally inclined maniacs. Any considerate motorist knows that of course, but walkers have a bird’s eye view of the recurrent mayhem. Speeding, overtaking on blind rises and corners, dangerous U-turns and disregard for continuous white lines and other artistic decorations on the road, plus criminal overloading of bakkies, are so commonplace as to be unremarkable. Their pervasiveness tells us that arrogance, impatience and thoughtlessness afflict too many people behind the wheel of a car and contribute significantly to the violent loss of life we suffer. Twice recently I have been correctly walking on a verge against the oncoming traffic and been missed from behind by the proverbial coat of paint through reckless overtaking. A remarkably high percentage of road fatalities involves pedestrians.

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