Thursday, November 29, 2012

Killer To Strike Again

This is a post that I was supposed to write for more than a year now. Since then many terrible accidents have happened. Including the one above ten days ago where three died. Far too many people are dying on our roads and the policy response has literally been nonexistent. We are instead wasting precious collective energy on bean-counting while putting irrelevant surveys like Doing Business on a costly pedestal.

So until things change and better vibrations bless our country you better watch out.


Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

So sad but it will happen again until something is done or someone somewhere starts to give a sh*t about something. My thoughts go to the victims and their families.

akagugo said...

Remember that awful crash that happened almost two decades ago when a truck with failed brakes flattened a bus taking a right turn from the motorway at Tuna Canning into Bell Village? I lost two classmates in that accident. All the other bus crashes we had here have a strange coincidence: they are flattened out after rolling over.
Just look at these other bus crashes: none of them are flattened out like the ones we had here until now.
Which brings me to the question: what is the NTA waiting for to enforce structural requirements on all vehicles, to insist that their road-worthiness should include resistance to side impact (from either collision or their own weight when thrust upside down), and this is the fuction of pillars in all 4-wheeled vehicles.
So what about the buses we have here? The flattened bwatt-sardines we saw are a sad demonstration of the fact that our buses are in fact lorry chassis disguised into buses without any pillars, and that their exoskeletons have never been tested for structural resilience in crash and/or roll-over resistance. Like in 3rd-world countries.
Sincerely, I expected something like this for reducing casualties in roll-vers, or this to be enforced when we had these series of very unfortunate accidents in which people got crushed in the blind-spot of buses.
But nothing came. I leave it to you to interpret Article 4 of the Road Traffic (Construction and Use of Vehicles) Regulations 2010:

"Every vehicle, including its bodywork, upholstery, fittings and accessories, shall be properly constructed of suitable materials, well finished and in good and serviceable condition, and of such design that it is capable of withstanding the load and stress likely to be met in the normal operation of the vehicle."

"Suitable"? "Normal operation"? "Serviceable"? If one would apply this lame Article 4 to, say, civil engineering structures, then a bridge would fail at the very first time that a traffic jam occured! Or a simple balcony would fail at the very first time that one would hold a party there! Engineering is about designing and constructing for extreme and remotely probable cases, goddamnit!

As you said rightly, it appears more and more that no one, absolutely no one, gives a sh!t about protecting human life, let alone averting preventable deaths. Instead, we have a string of cosmetic measures that have the persistence of a fad, or a U-turn (see the case of retro-reflective plates, fire extinguishers, and the school-van helpers and permits) under politicians giving in to populist pressure and/or pure laziness, if not, become a cash generator for the State, like for the speed cameras. Nothing else.

Well, where's Mo Ibrahim to take note of this, please?

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Yep. I thought a bit along the same vein: why don't we have buses with roll-over bars? And I was planning to check how much they cost vs. those coffin-on-wheels that we keep on buying. And why did we have to build so many roads and allow car ownership to increase that much instead of putting great buses for our people? Some Kantiam ethics is badly needed.

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Wednesday. Thursday.

akagugo said...

Saturday, Sunday, and the macabre list keeps growing in-between 'operation coup de poing' and what not gimmicky-named temporary eye-wash measure.
Have you ever seen any traffic calming measures being taken recently? Even if people keep overtaking on the 50km/h-limited part on the descending approach between Valton and Ripailles?
Or making U-turns on the motorway?
Or any of the major road violations that happen every day along Dodoland roads and that have become 'petty' only due to non-enforcement of existing laws...?

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

And here's how to handle an infamous killer.