Tower Bridge Circa 1980.
Odd how we barely concern ourselves with the dangers of our daily commute and yet there will be inevitable “shunts” as James Hunt used to say.
Awareness levels might tend to rise when holiday time swings around. Certainly in South Africa they do, and when the annual Lemming Runs to the coast begin,usually over Easter and Christmas, motorized death is never a matter of maybe, but simply a question of adding up the numbers. How many hundreds this year?
It’s not the same in England, of course, which has one of the lowest road death tolls, including pedestrians.
But there are moments that will initially horrify the nation and capture the media’s attention for days on end.
There was a rather nasty accident on the M6, I think it was, that involved a huge pile up in dense fog and a number of people died, including children on a coach. I may not be entirely accurate on this point. It was mid 90’s. ’94,’95?
I was working as an assistant manager in a restaurant at the time, and every morning we opened up and switched on Sky and there it was … the latest update. It went on for over a week. I think the BBC must have interviewed everyone they could find that was in any way connected to anyone involved, even a woof from some Vicar’s dog who presided over one of the funerals.
Over here in South Africa, that number of people are probably already dead by the time I’ve brushed my teeth and combed my hair.
But eventually, one gets inured to it and it becomes part of life … albeit a somewhat gruesome part of life.
However, on occasion, buckling up will not help and it is not the number of road deaths that sends the population into a horrified flat-spin panic, attracting global attention, but rather the manner of the deaths; especially if the driver takes to carrying sharpened cutlery and driving on the pavement.