Few weeks ago, I posted about how stupid drivers numbers are taking over our highways few of speedsters friends weren’t amused. Early this morning, I witnessed an accident that reminded me how the roads are unsafe. According to the recently availed International data, traffic accidents have in the past decade become among the biggest killers. In a country like Kenya with less than 1.5million cars on the road, more than 3,000 lives are lost annually. In Africa’s most populous country Nigeria, more than 1,000 lives are reportedly lost annually in every 100,000 vehicles despite the fact that there are only 8,000,000 cars in country whose population numbers slightly over 150 million. Even police data in various African countries last year showed a considerably high rate of traffic accidents in the continent. There has been an upward trend lately of “violent drivers” by members of the so-called “generation Y” in a number of developed and developing countries. I was shaken and left speechless after witnessing the horrible accident that left scores of school going children with bruises and two with broken legs. The cause of the accident was a 23 years old young man who was driving a Subaru Impreza. His “formula one stunts” where he tried to overtake on a bend led to a collision with an oncoming school van full of pupils heading to school.
Sadly, the school van driver lost his life after treatment came very late at the local hospital. I was among the scores who were mad at the violent and unapologetic driver who escaped unhurt. Shamelessly, he went ahead to accuse the driver for not giving him way while he was trying to overtake. Surely, is that common or rare sense usage? Shockingly, traffic police never arrested the arrogant and belligerent “violent driver.” I have no legal background but even a buffoon would tell you such a pinhead belong to jail. I know arresting such an idiot may not help much in reducing, if not bringing to an end, the violent driving behavior. Such “Ferrari drivers” as we call them back home in Melbourne are “butter and biscuits” family members and largely untouchable. To some, poverty and problems are words they read in school and have no idea what common world entails. That means even in instances where they are taken to court, they can hire the best legal minds and get away with it. In countries where corruption thrives, “Ferrari drivers” don’t even know where the cells are because even a phone call from “above” is enough to end the case.
Arresting and imprisoning them will not be effective in preventing them from committing the same acts again. One of the parents who came to the hospital to check on the son, told me even when such reckless drivers spend time behind bars, even if only for a short period, it offers them more understanding into crime in a broader sense as they are directly exposed to hardcore criminals inside prison. “Violent drivers” are nothing new and in many countries they make headlines in the national media for similar types of reckless driving and anyone who they see as being against their habits end up on the receiving end with insults that would make a world class hussy cover ears. I think the traffic police and other related security agencies need to think beyond the conventional approach of just arresting those involved in violence driving. Time has come that they involve the general public, identify the “stupid and violents drivers” and find a long lasting solution. As date available shows, “violent drivers” are mostly youths and university students, energetic and emotionally unstable. Proactive measures coupled with care for such drivers could perhaps be a more intangible approach in my opinion. That kind of initiative could take a long time to stop killings on the road but is the key to a proper solution to the fast spreading culture of “highway speedsters.”