Its 11.30 at night, and once again I find myself stood at the side of Kommetjie Road observing the aftermath of yet another pointless accident on Kommetjie Road. Luckily this time there is nobody (and no body) screaming, dying in a grass verge, but it seems equally as depressing.
Its dark, the traffic signals at 17th and Quarry are brightly lighting the scene as they rhythmically change through a well thought out sequence, and so one has to assume that they working equally as efficiently minutes before. A white van is stopped across the junction, facing down towards 17th avenue-after, one assumes, having done a 180: a car of dubious quality is stopped on the Fish Hoek side of the junction. The van has a huge dent in the drivers side rear quarter, I didn’t get as far down as to see the front of the car, but from the amount of glass on the road, there can’t be much left.
A massive skid mark bears witness to what surely happened, and judging by what the driver of the van was saying on the phone it seems clear. The car, which we heard pass our house at high speed ignored traffic signals, failed to break in time and ploughed into the van that was pulling out of 17th Avenue. Or it could equally have been the van that pulled out under a red light- they can argue about that to the police (I would say the insurance company, but it is unlikely that both parties will have any).
Either way another completely avoidable accident at a junction that has an undeserved reputation. Yes, there is a high accident rate, but it is not the junction that is the problem, nor the road. How much more visibilty is required than a long stretch of straight road, bright lights, street lights and even a new overhead gantry. It isn’t the road, the signals nor the junction layout that is at fault here, but the mindless bafoons who still insist on driving like they don’t care. The sooner we start taking driving seriously, remove unsafe vehicles and drivers from the road system the better! More cameras, more traffic cops, heavier penalties which are harder to deal with.
Luckily this time no one was seriously hurt but it is only a matter of time before there is another fatality on Kommetjie Road.