A major accident has killed 5 in Knysna…
I have never been driven around as much as i was when my father visited, with a rent-a-car, the past 9 days. I boasted about our beautiful area, ‘back-seat driving’ him from Sedgefield to The Crags and from Knysna’s centre to Karatara.
My father never understood my repeated warnings, falsely assured by an N2 he considered to be in good condition and with long visibility. “Dad, you haven’t met the fools who ride along here.”
Knots grew in my tummy as we witnessed car after car driving recklessly, particularly between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Even though he still seemed irritated at my warnings, realisation grew in my father until he too was pointing out idiots who should never have been given licences.
The worst was on Saturday. We were on the N2, near the suburb of Brackenhill. A motorcyclist, travelling at approximately 180km/h, overtook, on a solid line, about 6 cars and trucks, and swerved back to miss us in a head-on collision with less than a second to spare.
Notably absent the 9 days were visible traffic officers. In fact, i only saw them three times. One of the three was extremely ironic and bizarre.
In between Knysna’s industrial area and the N2, there’s a patch of grass upon which a tent had been erected. I would later read in the Knysna-Plett Herald that municipal staff, cops, traffic officers and a politician (the DA’s Irene Grootboom) were attending the Eden Integrated Prayer of Salvation for Safer Driving over the Festive Season. More bizarre and wrong than the government sponsoring a religious event (and forsaking the time and money that could’ve been better spent on accident prevention) was the fact that 4 traffic/local law enforcement vehicles were illegally parked in the yellow line on the N2 (the newspaper ignored that obviousness and what should have been the main story). Keeping with compounding ironies is not only weren’t they doing their job, they were parked illegally to, i expect, save themselves walking an extra 50m from the industrial area.
Attending that ‘salvation’ meeting was Head of Knysna Traffic & Law Enforcement, Anthony Bans. The same week, 2km away on the corner of George Rex Drive and Vigilance (Irony) Drive, he was run over whilst directing traffic. He’s now mending a broken leg and undoubtedly doubting the value of prayer.
What sparked this blog?
On Sunday, near Brackenhill, on that infamous stretch of road between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, there was a head on on collision. Details are sketchy but it’s been reported that 5 are dead and others are injured. It’s a jarring reminder of the death of Wimpy manageress, Marguerite Perks (31), who was struck in the same area by an oncoming car 14 months ago, also on a Sunday. A year before that, a bakkie had a head-on collision with a bus.
I don’t know what the causes were but i’m appalled that everyone i know talks on their cellphones whilst driving (and half of them read and send texts). Many do this whilst speeding. When i complain, i’m looked at as if i’m a fool. In fact, anyone who doesn’t care for their life (and especially the lives of others), is the biggest fool.
Drive safe, drive defensive. Don’t drive like a bloody fool, don’t get bloody.
NB: Traffic Chief, Anthony Bans, wishing you a speedy and full recovery!