It is very difficult for me to write about last week’s crash on the N1 that went viral on social media.
The reason for that is because a young man very nearly lost his life in that accident.
And he very nearly caused other innocent motorists to lose their lives.
Taufiq Carr is recovering in hospital after having both his legs amputated.
In the video taken from the Sable Street bridge across the N1 at Century City, a motorbike is seen heading towards Paarl at high speed.
Taufiq’s BMW is close behind and he is seen going from the far left lane into the right lane, when he loses control of the car and crashes through the centre barrier at high speed.
He only just misses the car in front of him.
The crash was actually filmed from various angles with smart phones and in some of the footage, you can see cars parked on the bridge and you can hear young people commenting.
It’s clear that they were all there to watch the “race”. And that’s really what I want to talk about.
I understand that residents of Century City often complain about the engine noise of late-night races on the N1.
I often hear cars racing by on the M5 and Klipfontein Road.
The traffic light at the Rondebosch Golf Course bend has been taken out so many times now, that I have lost count.
A few years ago, a racing youngster hit the car of an elderly couple nearby, killing them both.
He fled the scene.
They died while returning from a night out celebrating their anniversary.
There are dozens of tragic stories like this one.
And no doubt Taufiq now has his own story to tell and hopefully, his will encourage the other petrolkoppe to take their racing to Killarney.
It’s clear that these races are organised and have spectators and supporters who want the privilege of going “wow” when a car speeds by really, really fast.
And that’s because you youngsters think you are invincible and believe that you are the best drivers on the roads.
So asking you to stop racing on the freeways at night will obviously not work.
But allow me to say that while you may be a great driver, there may also be someone else on the road that night who’s not so good; or maybe a little nervous; or slow; or drunk.
And they are going to do something unexpected.
You may be OK with risking your own life on the road, but are you OK with causing the death of another? Such as an old couple enjoying an evening out; children coming from the movies; parents whose babies are waiting for them at home; a friend’s sibling; or even a relative of yours?
I hope this also gives pause for thought to parents who spoil their kids with fast cars. Why does it have to be that fast?