The organic speed-bumps

obviously he didn't really mean it when he told us to think creatively
According to official statistics, there were 4 678 pedestrian fatalities in South Africa in 2009. That’s a lot of longpig tartare. In fact, it’s more people than ALL of Jacob Zuma’s wives and kids combined! And yet it fails to discourage urban strollers from doing their utmost to become one with the asphalt. Friendly word of warning, folks: my brakes need a service.

I’ve developed several theories about why so many South Africans prefer to amble down the middle of the road instead of using the walkways that were specifically put there for their exclusive use:

  • They suffer from erienerphobia – the morbid fear of sidewalks
  • They’re die-hard fatalists who feel that their mortality is in the hands of the Universe
  • They’re idiots

Idiots. Definitely.

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53 thoughts on “The organic speed-bumps

  1. Now I know this isn’t going to be politically correct, but when I was living in SA, I also never understood the desire to walk along the road, in the pitch black, when one was… erm… well, pitch black too! 😦

    And motorways! What was all that walking along motorways about??? :S

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  2. I’m a horrible driver. It’s lucky I don’t live in SA. I’d leave a path of death and destruction behind me on the way to work. Then I’d have to cheer up the relatives of the people I killed.

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  3. Longpig tartare? I will not be having any of that, regardless of what’s served with it.

    Idiots? Perhaps unclear on the concept. Seriously, though, it’s probably some misguided sense of entitlement. Indigenous peoples seem to have them everywhere. While our pedestrian fatalities come no near the numbers you quoted, we have more than zero and many of them are usually homeless people of the native Indian persuasion. I don’t know. Maybe they think they’re invincible? That they’re somehow “tougher” than 3,000 lbs of rolling metal?

    Or maybe it’s just Darwinism in action.

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  4. a lot of expense could be saved by making a sidewalk *down the middle* of the street rather than on both sides.
    think of it: one sidewalk instead of two.
    pedestrians would be plainly visible to drivers.

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  5. I am constantly amazed that there aren’t more pedestrian fatalities on the streets of Manhattan. You should see the way people dart out into traffic! And why aren’t there more runaway taxis careening down the sidewalk?! It’s a mystery.

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  6. I once drove right over a drunk farm-worker that had passed out in the middle of my driveway one night with his face in a puddle. Miraculously, he was unscathed, but to this day I am emotionally scarred.

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  7. If you are a law-abiding, sidewalk-using pedestrian – you will definitely also become a statistic. When you trust in the “little green man” and actually cross when you have the right of way – and get mowed down by the dumb f^&k who has just gone straight through the red light – at 60kph.

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  8. Capetonians are the worst. I’ve seen several nutters crossing a four lane intersections diagonally across? WTF?

    I blame songstress Adele:
    “Should I give up, or should I just keep chasing pavements? Even if it leads nowhere… “

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  9. It’s all written..just like all the Final Destination movies..scary but when it’s your time, you’ve got to go..How? is sometimes your own choice..like walking in the street.
    I’m too computer illiterate to post the youtube video of the idiot dancing in the street and he gets hit by the ice cream truck…Moron..

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  10. Maybe it has something to do with that “Step on a crack, break your mother’s back” superstition. Really, that’s pretty much why I spent most of my childhood in the emergency room.

    (What can I say, my mother and I are tight.)

    ps. longpig tartare= my new safe word.

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  11. I can see a movie in this. Spielberg,or Jackson, maybe? Definitely with the 3D fad goggles so the airborne pedestrians appear to fly into the audience…oh, yeah. I need an agent!

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  12. Yep, i’m with Rob here*, Darwin’s proven right at every turn**.
    *No offense to Rob’s s.o. I mean that in an entirely proper fashion.
    ** See what i did here?

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  13. Weirdly enough – I think the large number of people doing it makes everyone think it’s perfectly safe. I once got in a debate with someone about driving in Morocco and how it’s crazy that everyone can drive like crazy and it’s okay. And the person was saying they never saw an accident, so clearly it was safe.

    So maybe not enough South Africans have seen a person be hit by a car.

    (I fear that last sentence is going to be taken out of context one day.)

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