Three teenagers were killed and another is in a serious condition in hospital in KwaZulu Natal after a taxi driver skipped a red light and collided with them. The community has expressed anger at the tragic incident saying that taxi drivers often drive recklessly in the area. The unfortunate truth is that such reckless driving is not limited to just that part of South Africa but is a national pandemic.
Many drivers in South Africa treat road regulations as mere suggestions rather than rules to drive by. The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, explains: “Most drivers automatically assume only taxi drivers break the law and admittedly, they are often culprits. Yet, they are not the only ones at fault. Not coming to a complete stop at stop signs, driving in yellow lines, distracted driving and not giving way to pedestrians are all rules that many motorists disobey daily.
“After an incident as horrifying and tragic as this one, all drivers need reassess their own driving and question how many times they are guilty of disobeying a road rule, no matter how small. South Africa has a culture of drivers who believe they can break the law because other drivers do and get away with it.”
Instead South African drivers should play their role in developing safer roads. “Every driver needs to commit to driving defensively, courteously and, importantly, within the confines of the law. Part of the reason road fatalities are much lower in many first world countries is because drivers take the law seriously. It is time for South African drivers to start creating their own culture of safe driving.
“As a nation we have been left horrified by what happened to the teenagers in KwaZulu Natal. Let it be powerful motivation to any driver, who breaks the law, to change their behaviour. To the family and friends of those who lost their lives, we give you our heartfelt condolences,” says Herbert.