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NB: Note the highlighted part

NB: Note the highlighted part
March 27
11:13 2018

SPEED DOES NOT KILL, INDISCIPLINE DOES

I need to set the record straight from the beginning. I come from a small village far away from Mochudi. I cannot say it now because you might have a negative perception about me, similar to the one I am trying to avoid by setting the record straight. Yes, I am not from Mochudi and I have never lived in Mochudi. I have only been there for a couple of hours, not long enough to know where it is sold or how it is done. At present, my favourite herb is thyme. It is mostly known for its culinary and ornamental uses but also has medical benefits. Thus I am not under the influence of the substance you thought I might have had prior to scribing this, if I was I would have maybe written about how sexual frustration makes people moody, grumpy and unnecessarily antagonistic or something Kgafela would write about. I spent quite an inordinate chunk of my Sunday afternoon on Google trying to find out the brains behind the statement to the effect that ‘leaders are born, not made’, simply because I find this offensive, not only that but utter bunkum. What does it mean anyway? I was wondering if it was Shaka Zulu who said it, and I thought maybe that is why he did not want to bear children so that no other leader is born and that could give him a chance to rule from the grave. On the other hand, I thought it could be Robert Mugabe, but then he still refused to vacate the seat until he was embarrassingly uprooted yet he has children. Maybe I need to read Barack Obama’s biography to appreciate this statement better, hoping that there would be somewhere, where he denies the influence of nurture on his leadership abilities and entirely praises his chromosomes for the good work. You just need to come to Bechuanaland (which is what we are now, still analogue and centuries away from being digital) to figure out that even if I was to be a good president now, that doesn’t mean my descendent would be as good, can the third of April be already.

Just like the abovementioned axiom, ‘Speed Kills’ and ‘Slow is Safe’ are well entrenched slogans that have no basis in fact, but reiterated long and loud enough to constitute an aura of ‘truths’. Society’s continued passion for these two sentiments causes concern, and is probably the reason why we cannot effectively deal with what is purported to be at the heart of road traffic accidents. Is there any correlation? This belief is based on several dubious precepts, none of which have ever been proven or justified. The most basic of these precepts is that motorists, in the absence of speed limits, will drive in a manner that ignores their own welfare and that of fellow highway users. That without speed limits, they would drive at reckless irresponsible speeds without concern for the consequences. Does that sound like you and the people you know? In 1995, Republican Congress in the U.S repealed the 55 mile-per-hour (90kmh) federal maximum speed limit law, and by 1997 statistics showed road traffic accidents had significantly decreased. In Germany, significant stretches of the Autobahn highway do not have speed limits (at all). Yes, some vehicles travel at very high speeds but the fatality rate on the German Autobahn is lower than the fatality rate on roads with regulated speed limits. The question is, do speed limits matter? Of course they do, they are a business venture for traffic police, more like an unwarranted allowance in addition to their meagre salaries.

Speed kills is such an impotent warning, like that smoking is harmful to your health warning on cigarette packaging. It’s so easy to ignore. Slow is safe is pathetic, ask people who have been bumped at the back while they thought going at that speed of a stool coming out of the chocolate factory in a circumstance of constipation would make them immune to accidents. The campaign against road traffic accidents and safety needs to adopt a new motto. ‘Discipline saves lives’. I could stand indiscipline by drivers until I moved to Gaborone and travelled a lot on the highway to hell, A1. It is disgusting, makes you wonder if the driver’s seat makes people suicidal. Discipline is freedom; it liberates you from future adversities you would otherwise not have suffered had you exercised some caution and self-control. Replacing worn out tyres, wearing a seatbelt, strictly car seat for infants, keeping your car in a physically and mechanically good condition. These are some of the issues traffic cops need to take very seriously. Then there are those traits beyond the police’s check and balances but upon an individual, letting your arrogance take the wheel, not accepting the status of the performance of your car, learning defensive driving, dealing away with wearing headsets while driving, and this one is for women; they should stop behaving like if they offer a right of way, they won’t get their menstrual cycle. This won’t be an easy task but it’s worth a try than sticking to a useless approach. Car manufacturers are not inconsiderate, they give cars lots of speed, and they also give it lots of safety technologies. Your task is to use wisely and properly. I would like to have all of you safely back from the Easter holidays to have a taste of life without the current president.

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