SA ROAD USERS TRAUMATISED

2013-01-08 07:39

The tragic death of Burry Stander is a matter of grief and sorrow for every conscience driven South African.

By all accounts, according to the many articles and news reports that I read on his life, Stander was more than just a cyclist. His terrible death is very sad and such a waste of a young, talented and promising life.

The death of a friend, neighbour, colleague or loved one is one of life’s most difficult realities and remembrance to cope with.

To quote Charles Stander: “No parent should ever have to see his child lying on a tarred road after an accident, knowing that there is absolutely nothing he can do to save his life. Words cannot even begin to describe how one feels when it happens. It was terrible”.

My sympathy and thoughts go to all his family and his friends at this very difficult, sad and traumatic time.

Across the spectrum people are, quite understandably, interpreting Stander’s heartbreaking death through their own reading. In this regard we should allow the law to take its course rather than make outrageous and daft statements.

By saying this I don’t mean that taxi drivers are all well behaved on the road. Without doubt some of them definitely need to be schooled on moral ethics, following traffic and road regulations and rules.

As nationwide rage and anger mounts, especially against taxi drivers, I ask if there is enough citizen activism and political will to make our roads safer. According to reports almost 1300 people died in road accidents this holiday period and remember not all were taxi related.

According to transport Minister Ben Martins, despite efforts by the government, the private sector and the civil society to enforce rules and raise awareness about road safety, accidents are happening.

In order to save lives and to address this crisis, I truly support the proposal by the minister that there is a serious and urgent need for a national dialogue about the current state of affairs regarding road fatalities.

Dialogue, one of the most undervalued educational tools, will help to establish social links and enlist the support of Churches, Musjids, Temples, Synagogues and learning institutions like homes, Schools and Universities.

It is high time that we all work together to free our roads of irresponsible, unprincipled and reckless drivers who pose and cause danger to the lives of every road user.

This unfortunate incident, like the death of the gang rape victim in India, really saddened me very deeply.

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