Our regular columnist Brian is back with his final column of the year. The festive season is a time of being merry and enjoying time with friends, family and loved ones but also perhaps a time where #roadsafetysins are more prevalent. Hear Brian's top tips for a safer festive season with his unique perspectives from Africa.
Xmas madness has arrived. The thrill and excitement of a *holiday*. After 350+ days of working your *** off, it comes down right to it. The Christmas period; It’s like escaping from jail knowing nobody will be hot on your heels. With Christmas and new year celebrations come with catching up with folks that haven’t had the chance to cross your path, seeing your parents, guardians, relatives, personal projects, ex-boyfriends and girlfriends: -mention it! How and what you do is not our full-time business.
But there is our business…
1. Inexperienced driver’s hands on the steering wheel
During the course of the year, most folks work so hard and save the last coin to buy a car in December. The idea usually is to drive their family members away from the chronic inconveniences the City brings back to the awesome calm and ever-green rural settings. The danger is, however, this is the first time in their entire lives on earth, that they’re driving such a long distance in unfamiliar road surfaces and unpredictable weather conditions. Such drivers have not a tested experience of how they react by major road safety risks thrown at them by the environment or even individual distractors. All they have known, is a 2 weeks drive in the City: - and all of a sudden, they feel that they invented Toyota! If you’re in this category, step-aside, let the experienced driver do the job!
2. Riding or driving with no license
So, during the whole gestation period of the year, you were able to assemble tyres, engine, side mirrors and somehow produced (bought) a vehicle. And Xmas is the time you want to take the cob-webs out. You have a relative/friend in the police and you think, you're immune to any road safety laws or policies. Between that, you dare to step onto the accelerator while you are sure as hell that you don’t own a riding/driving license. Totally unforgivable.
By the time you are speeding, let me put this in English:-it means, you are already driving strangely for the road conditions. It’s never about the 100+km/hr or 20km/hr. No. You could be driving 30km/hr but you are speeding:- that is to say, the road might be full of potholes, muddy and chances of skidding at that speed are equal to the fact that you will go to pee today (whether you want it or not). Some folks, way they want to *test* their newly acquired vehicle on the roads going home. Sorry mates, but you are choosing the wrong tree for your ladders. Keep an eye on the existing road signs and anticipate where they don’t exist.
4. Miss using helmet and seatbelts.
Late last month, 2 of my workmates crashed into an oncoming vehicle when the motorists they were riding with, ignored a red light.(And I don’t mean the Red Light District, I mean the Traffic Red Light you fixated potato head). They sustained broken bones of the limbs but their skulls were intact. It would have been a different story. Studies show that both the seatbelts and helmet offer between 45-60% chance of protection from severe injuries that may turn out fatal. In this season, walk with the science and arrest your peers who ain't doing it. I will get you a lawyer (sic).
5. Drive/ride/walk while drinking alcohol or drunk.
Despite the increasing prices of alcoholic during the festive season, the demand keeps soaring: -But that’s not a problem. The problem is driving, walking, riding while drunk on the road. The road is not your parents’ farm where you can get away with almost everything. Don’t be an inconvenience to careful riders by making them do near-death-swerves, or even ramming into stationary vehicles. Don’t play the possum game:-where all your focus shall be to *dodge the traffic police*. For now and many years to come, the government won't be supplying spare parts of your life and those you will have inconvenienced. OWN IT.
Happier, Healthier and Safer 2020!
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