On lawlessness…

Timothy left this comment on the blog today:

South Africans are LAWLESS. Every day my jaw drops at, in particular, our driving. No indicating, hogging the fast lane, parking anywhere, no servicing and billowing smoke out the back etc etc.
I often wonder what goes on (or doesn’t) in these people’s minds. Is it deliberate, or pure ignorance, or a heady mix?

And I wrote this some time ago:

the laws are there, but the fact that they’re just not enforced means that the driving public feel that they don’t have to obey them.

These facts have been proven further to me on the roads over the last few days.

Firstly, an unsecured toddler on the back seat of a Mazda 323. No, this isn’t a good thing, but sadly it’s something we’re well used to here in SA. So picture my delight when a traffic police car pulls out behind said Mazda. And then picture my disgust when said traffic police officer interacted with the Mazda, not by stopping it and fining the driver to high heaven, but by waving to the child through the back windscreen.

And then today, after a massive road smash on the M5 this evening – one car on its roof on the central reservation – tow trucks, fire engines, ambulances everywhere – and the traffic police, standing by, but not actually doing anything because right then, it was all about the other emergency services doing their thing. Fair enough.

All of which meant that the traffic police officer had plenty of time to chat the incident with the cyclist who had pulled over. I hope it all worked out ok. And it was kind of weird to see a traffic officer and a cyclist discussing… hey… hang on a second. Cyclists aren’t allowed to cycle on the M5 – where were the traffic officers while this conversation was going… hey… hang on a second – they were talking with him.

I don’t think that I need to add much of a conclusion here. Even the more intellectually-challenged of my readers can see where I’m going with this. When even the police don’t give a damn, we have a problem.

Frankly, I’m rather depressed by the whole thing.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, in France