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.

  • And seeing as the same claims of increased vigilance are made every year, one would really expect a roadblock on every corner by now. Like you, I wasn’t stopped – in fact, I never saw a roadblock. In around 20 years of driving in Cape Town, I’ve been stopped at a roadblock a grand total of one times.

  • Jacques > You’re doing it wrong. I have had eight in nine years. Three of those have been in the Overberg though and two of those have been fine checks (ie. not actually stopped, just automatic number plate reading).

    You need to hang around the drink driving areas more often (like I… er… don’t).

  • Gordon

    I have been stopped 3 times, and caught on camera once, and all in less than the two years that I have been here.

    I feel victimised…

  • Gordon > Hello there! How are you doing?
    Caught on camera? Speeding? Naughty boy. I’m still fine-free 22+ years into my driving career.

  • Gordon

    All fine here, thanks. Do call us and call by when you are passing.

    The camera nab was a first for me, although the ticket was addressed to Mrs Gordon, so probably doesn’t count! Still, not bad for a driving career of something like 43 years, and counting!

  • Gordon > Still, very naughty. 🙂

  • I am ashamed to admit I can’t say fine free – I have had one, once about 8 years ago. I am still horrified.

  • Pamela > And now, so am I. :0