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Just be responsible

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“What the hell were you thinking?”

THE FINANCIAL gurus say you need to have a ‘retirement car’. Well, my ‘retirement car’ will just have the basics – automatic, rear assist parking, lights that come on when it gets dark and most importantly an engine that can handle the air conditioner. My aircon at the moment oh my. Once it is on it feels as if I can get out of the car and just walk and it will be faster than my car goes.

But, no matter how fancy the car, the driver behind the wheel is still ultimately responsible for not only their safety, but also their family and other road users.

It doesn’t give you carte blanche to flaunt the rules and laws of the road.

This was obviously ignored by the driver of the Audi who clocked 308km/* in a 120k-zone. Seriously dude, “What the hell were you thinking?”

Firstly, the car must obviously have been tampered with as my common sense tells me no car is meant to be a F1 car or the Bloodhound that can exceed 300km/* . This really is a danger to all road users.

What would have happened if something crossed the highway at the time and he had to either swerve out for it or brake? I doubt if he would have survived or what he was trying to miss. I seriously ice to think if there were any other cars in the vicinity at the time. Families could have been destroyed because of one reckless driver.

Already we lost 1 438 people during the festive season. How many families have been destroyed as a result of this? Mothers, fathers, caregivers who lost their lives during this time leaving children orphaned.

Although there has been a decline in the death toll, one life lost is one too many.

In order to make our roads safer, almost 2 000 roadblocks were erected, more than last year.

More than 573 147 motorists were issued with traffic fines. The number of traffic fines issued decreased by 191 862 as a result of increased compliance with road regulations by motorists.

The number of discontinued vehicles increased from 4 016 to 6 358 and vehicles that were impounded increased from 2 967 to 3 814.

The most common offences for which traffic fines were issued were: speeding with 58 669 fines, driving without a licence with

26 516 fines, driving without fastening seat belt accounted for

25 786 fines, driving unlicensed vehicles at 32 481 and fines for worn tyres were 13 311.

Take a look at the first three: Speeding 58 669, driving without a licence 26 516 and driving without a seat belt 25 786 fines.

Now combine them. I have witnessed on numerous occasions long-distance taxi drivers speeding past me on national roads. We know that taxi commuters don’t wear safety belts. We also know that taxis don’t ride without a full load. All I can say is thank goodness the death toll was down last year and that more fines were issued.

Last week when I was driving back to work after lunch, I was obviously behind a mom who had just fetched her little one from school. A cute little girl. Now the only reason I know it was a cute little girl is she was standing on the back seat of the car and waving to me.

I was extremely angry at the mother for allowing this little girl to stand on the seat without being restrained. Secondly, the mom was driving really fast. At one point I was going 71 km/* and I couldn’t keep up with her. Now, as in the case of that Audi driver, what would have happened if she had to suddenly brake or swerve for an obstacle?

No matter how fancy your car, take responsibility for your actions, the lives of your family and other road users. Easter is coming up, let’s see if we can reduce the death toll even further.