Walkaholic gran says private stop sign doesn’t help

2013-10-25 00:00

BLOEMFONTEIN’S best known pedestrian is so fed up with road hogs in the city that she carries her own stop sign to use at pedestrian crossings.

Alet Pitchers (76) said drivers in the City of Roses showed very little to no respect for pedestrians. They also pay no heed to her stop sign.

Instead, she said drivers swear and hoot at her and scream things like “open your bleddy eyes”.

Pitchers said she started walking seriously after she gave her car to her son when he went to university. “My son got me back on my feet,” she joked.

She has walked the Cape Times Big Walk of 88 km and the Capital to Coast Big Walk from Pietermaritzburg to Durban of 90 km several times. In Bloemfontein she estimated she had walked about 10 000 km over the years.

“Walking is my medicine,” she said, but added hiking around the city has also become very dangerous.

When sister paper Volksblad walked with Pitchers across the road to her flat on Union Lane, one driver slammed on his brakes before stopping with squealing tyres, another hooted, and most motorists just accelerated around her.

“If I had not been able to jump for my life on a regular basis, I would have been killed long ago,” Pitchers said.

“It is only through the Lord’s mercy that I am still here.”

Pitchers said she could write books on her experiences as a pedestrian.

In one case she saw a driver shaving with one hand while talking on his cellphone on the other while he drove with his knees in the peak hour morning traffic.

She described seven narrow roads near the Oranje girls’ school as “death traps for pedestrians” because drivers using these roads only look for oncoming traffic and not at all for pedestrians who are trying to cross.

She said while Bloem motorists have a poor record when it came to stopping at pedestrian crossings, they were champions when it came to parking on pavements.

She now put notes on their windscreens stating: “Please pavements are for pedestrians. May we please have some consideration!”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.