Three times nothing is still nothing…

I’ve been doing some rudimentary calculations again.

During January – November 2012 (remember back then?), I was stopped a total of zero times in roadblocks in and around Cape Town. But hey, I’m an individual case with a propensity to stay home with my family on Saturday nights, so maybe that – while demonstrating that if I had been doing anything naughty on the roads (which I wasn’t), I would have got away with it – is actually fine.

Then, early last month, we were informed in an interview by Robin Carlisle, MEC for Transport in the Western Cape, on a local radio station that motorists were “three times more likely” to be stopped in a roadblock in the province during the “holiday season”. During that “holiday season”, I racked up well over 2,000km on the roads of the Western Cape. I was stopped a total of zero times.

Those rudimentary mathematicians among you will have already done the sums (or read the title of the post) and worked out, like me, that Robin was absolutely right.
The upshot of his worryingly accurate prediction has been a 6% increase in the number of deaths on the Western Cape roads during December, something Robin refers to as “disheartening”.

I’m well aware that the issues of drink driving, dangerous driving, cellphone use and not using seatbelts should be negated by sensible and responsible individual choices. Sadly, we also all know that that’s not going to happen.

But that aside, as we have mentioned many times before, it’s all very well for the authorities to go making these promises and commitments, but unless they’re actually going to back them up with solid action, things are not going to improve.