Eyes Wide Open – Road Safety

We are losing more lives on our roads, breaking more hearts. I lost my older brother Marcus to the roads. He was only 18-years-old with his whole life ahead of him. It’s tragic. And teh trail of destruction left behind immense. Something we live with day in and day out.

People get a car, a full licence and then drive away from the test centre and forget every single thing they learned.

Recently I shared my road safety documentary which is an account of my brother Marcus’ life and subsequent death following a car accident.

Maybe it is because I lost him that this is something close to my heart, then again I don’t want anyone else to endure that same pain or suffering.

Here are some things I want to flag……

1. Speed: While I certainly DO NOT condone speeding, I have to flag the danger of slow drivers as well. I know some people prefer to take it extra slow but this in turn can cause problems on the road. I had someone today in front of me doing 50 in a 100 zone and an opportunity rose to over take and as I did so they sped up. That behaviour is unacceptable.

2. Vans/ Tractors: Why is it that people who are in work vans/ tractors speed and take risks. Again today a tractor and trailer pulled into the hard shoulder to let all the traffic pass and when it came to me I put my indicator on and proceeded to pass the large vehicle when a van flew out behind me causing me to jam my breaks and the tractor to swerve. This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed erratic behaviour from van drivers. If you drive a van/ know a van driver remember you don’t own the road and no job is worth taking a risk for.

Also, I live in the country and tractors fly past my house. In some cases they have managed to knock stones from the walls and onto the road creating another issue. We have animals and children in the area who walk along the roads and sometimes I wonder if those behind the tractor wheel even notice when they pass.

3. Pedestrians: Lately so many pedestrians have lost their lives on our roads and for the most part it is carelessness on the drivers part. I’ll never forget an incident which took place some years ago. My dad and I were on the way home from a days hunting in the horse lorry when a jeep and trailer jack knifed with calves on board. Naturally my dad jumped out to help. Put the hazards on the lorry and assisted. He told me to stay in the lorry and I watched as cars pulled up either side of the road to help out. In the meantime, a van came flying past all the cars that were pulled up and flew past our truck. He had to jam the breaks when he realised the road was blocked. (Clearly didn’t notice all the cars that were pulled up on the road!!)

Dad then made his way to me in the lorry and was talking to some people informing them what was going on when the guy in the van went into reverse….

I knew he was going too fast for this country road and before my very eyes he ploughed into my dad and sent him flying. Screaming I ran out to Dad as he lay across the road. I’ll never forget that image of him being thrown in the air. A man who already had a number of ailments. As I got to him, his eyes shut and I thought this was the end.

Thankfully he gained consciousness and wasn’t badly hurt. What I’m trying to say is, as a driver you need to be alert and observant  of those around you. Pedestrians more often than not aren’t paying attention, listening to music, on theirs phones etc.

4. Social Media: This is a huge problem and one that is only getting worse with time. Take Snapchat for instance: the number of users who drive and snap is insane and it certainly doesn’t help when the biggest Snapchat star Kylie Jenner does it. Doesn’t mean others should.

Also people sharing the location of speed vans is ludicrous altogether.If someone is speeding they should suffer the consequences, a fine and points. It is the only way they will learn. Plus, by taking your phone out while you are driving you are only distracting yourself.

Take care on the roads 

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