In the news today it states that Meekahefele Masooa, who shot and killed motorcyclist Douglas Pearce in a road rage incident, was released on R5000 bail at his hearing (17/02/2014). I for one thought the report of the incident is still unclear and as a result I will refrain from making any comments relating directly to the incident as yet.
The news article stated that the accused, Mekahefele Masooa, is a labour law consultant by profession and resides in a R2.2 million house located in centurion.
The tragic event that occurred on Friday however is not isolated, and we have to look at the underlining reasons as to why we as a society are being pushed to the extent that we become violent with fellow road users. We need to understand what we can do to prevent this occurring in the future and to be more understanding, patient and respectful to ALL road users, including motorcyclists and motorists.
I believe that we are living in an environment that is becoming increasingly pressurized. The influx of people to city centres means an influx in traffic, the road networks are deteriorating and public transport is still a bone of contention, if that. So because of the high number of cars, the lack of infrastructure and the resulting traffic jams, we become short tempered. We have places to be and we don’t have all the time in the world.
In addition to this we have to deal with the forever increasing fuel price impacting our already heavily taxed wallet. Throw in a bit of SANRAL, a presidential palace, a policeman hiding in a shrub and a pot hole or two and all of a sudden our blood pressure exceeds that of a Kärcher washer.
Some of us purchase motorcycles to try and get around some of these issues only to realise that motorcycling in traffic in Johannesburg is exceptionally dangerous, I know from experience, and so do thousands of others. So yes it is only natural that bikers probably get a little more agitated about bad driving than motorists do. Reason being that in a matchup, a 1500kg vehicle usually KO’s a 90kg human in round 1. So to even think of using your car as a weapon on someone who is at more risk is disgusting.
As a result of all these factors, all it takes is for one road user to not abide by the rules of the road and we reach exploding point, whether you are a motorist or motorcyclist, and the resulting fist fight or gun battle erupts. Society cannot stand selfish drivers, or riders who cannot wait their turn patiently or feel that they can use the whole road, illegally, to the benefit of themselves, so why do it? Just because you have gotten away with it a few times doesn’t mean it is right. Grow the F%#K up, these rules exist to benefit all of us.
If I had to list all the bad driving incidents I have personally experienced we would be here until Mugabe pegged, which would be a while. So as a society lets try be more patient with our fellow road users, let’s abide by the rules, let’s keep an eye out for bikers, cyclists and pedestrians and try make our everyday commute a little less stressful for a change.
I would also like to challenge the JMPD to increase its enforcing of ALL the rules of the road, not JUST speeding!
RIP Douglas Pearce.
News24. (2014). Road Rage accused granted bail. Retrieved from: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Road-rage-accused-granted-bail-20140217