EDITORIAL COMMENT: Let’s all take responsibility on the roads

WHILE Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, visiting friends and family, some among us take the opportunity to turn festivities into grief as they wittingly or unwittingly crucify themselves and other road users through reckless behaviour on the roads. However, unlike the Lord Jesus, we are mere mortals who do not resurrect, but only end up as holiday statistics.

As we report elsewhere in this issue, over Christmas and Boxing Day alone 27 people perished while 47 were injured.

While Christmas should also be a time for Holy Communion with the Lord, those of us not given to the gospel, use the time for festivities, taking intoxicants in the process before taking to the road or getting behind the wheel.

Already 27 lives have been lost over 72 hours in accidents invariably blamed on brake failure, tyre bursts, speeding and human error. With such grim statistics, the importance of exercising restraint and caution on the roads cannot be over-emphasised for both motorists and pedestrians.

While the responsibility for our own safety, if we are fortunate enough to own our own vehicles, lies in our hands, we should not forget that we share the road with others and the safety of all other road users begins with us.

Worse still, we may have passengers who would have entrusted their lives in our hands, lets ensure they arrive alive. The same goes for public transport operators; the roads are always teeming with travellers and the temptation will be to carry as many of them as possible, either through overloading or maximising trips by speeding.

We should remember that all these vices contribute to accidents, and that 25 percent of all accidents are attributed to speeding. While the cars we have today boast of various security features and gadgets, we must never forget that it is not the car that is safe but the man or woman behind the wheel.

And the safety of the driver lies in his/her attitude.

A change in driving attitude is the responsibility of every driver, we must all take ownership in preventing accidents.

We take this opportunity to remind all drivers of a few basic safety tips we all learnt at driving school: Stick to the speed limit, do not tailgate, be alert to changing conditions, and if you feel fatigued, take a break.

We urge police and other traffic safety officers to have zero-tolerance to traffic offenders, defective vehicles should be impounded, drunk drivers locked up and errant ones sufficiently censured, for they would be a danger not only to themselves, but all other road users.

Over the coming New Year, let’s drive to arrive alive.

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