Slow motion

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 July, 2009, 12:00am

It could have been so much worse. The colleague on the back seat next to me might not have seen the sand and gravel lorry hurtling towards the back of our stationary minibus, in which case neither of us would have been able to jump from our seats and escape the impact zone. When the dust had settled it was, in the scale of things, a minor accident. But its cause - the excessive speed of the lorry driver on a morning drenched with monsoon rain - is a major factor in too many collisions that leave death in their wake; as with the tragedy last weekend in which a speeding cab failed to negotiate a rain-slicked bend and a passenger lost his life.

The authorities have done much to attack the problem of drink driving and their effort in this regard is to be applauded. They should now turn to the issue of speeding with equal vigour. Throughout the journey that led to our recent accident it was apparent that traffic was moving too fast for a morning when visibility was often reduced to less than 50 metres. At one point we were overtaken by an apparently harried mother who was speeding and talking on a mobile phone while two children sat in the rear seat. There is no appointment so pressing that it merits the death of another. But many people thrust this thought to the back of their mind if they are a few minutes late for an engagement, even one that is trivial. The law must make sure that such disregard for the safety of others is punished with the utmost vigour.