My deepest sympathy to the family members and friends of the deceased teenagers who died so tragically in the accident reported on the front page of the Roodepoort Record on 1 September 2017.
The fact that the licence of the Kombi had expired or that the driver did not have a licence and may have been under the influence detracts from the real problem, because every single day hundreds of sober drivers in roadworthy and licensed vehicles are just as negligent.
I am on the road a lot and witness hundreds of people skipping stop signs and red traffic lights every day. How often do we not see four or five vehicles pushing through after the light has changed to red, and on the next switching cycle another four or five will push to cross on a red. Hendrik Potgieter and Ondekkers Roads are two roads where this constantly happens.
People do not even slow down for stop signs any longer. A prime example among many is the corner of Barry Hertzog Drive and Daniel Malan Avenue in Florida Park, where drivers on Barry Hertzog constantly skip the stop signs without bothering to slow down. Furthermore, drivers heading south to Florida have to pass through a blind corner just before the crossing.
I have reported this particular intersection to the JMPD in the past but they claim that the Roodepoort Senior State Prosecutor declines to prosecute as it comes down to the JMPD officer’s word against that of the driver and they therefore do not waste resources on cases that will not be prosecuted. We can blame the JMPD and Prosecutor’s Office who are negligent in their duties, but we as the road users also need to take responsibility for our own actions.
How many more people have to die or be maimed in our city before we take responsibility for our illegal actions?