My Christmas Rant

It was shortly after seven when my mobile phone rang last Saturday morning. The number displayed on the screen was not familiar to me and for a split second I considered letting it go to voicemail. But as I was due to meet up with a client later in the morning I picked it up. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach at the words the woman on the other end of the line spoke: “Is this Kat’s mum?” In the following seconds I ran through a whole gamut of emotions, but they were nothing compared to the chill that went through me at her next words. “Kat’s been involved in a car accident”. It was one of those moments in time that will be eternally etched in my memory, and those chills will come back to haunt me every time I think about it.

Despite the woman’s reassurances that she was fine I knew I would not be satisfied until I saw her for myself. So I leaped into my car and somehow managed to make it 2km to where the accident had occurred. Yeah, so close to home! She and a group of her friends had been out DJing at a formal after party all night and had stopped at Maccas for breakfast before doing the home drop. Initially they had foolishly piled seven kids into the car, but by some miracle common sense prevailed and two of them got out and were going to wait for the designated driver to come back for them.

I came upon the accident scene from the worst possible angle, in the middle of the intersection mounted on the roundabout was a battered white car, with its P plates displayed in the window and the passenger side crushed inwards. Pressed up against the side of it was a red four wheel drive with a bent bumper bar. The sight of that car made tears spring to my eyes as I frantically scanned the crowd that had gathered for my daughter’s face, desperately needing to reassure myself she really was okay.

She spotted me first and was in my arms before I had managed to extract myself fully from the car. I checked her over carefully before asking after the other kids who were in the car. It was hard to believe none of them had been seriously hurt. The ambulance had arrived by this stage and was carefully checking each of the kids over. So I took that moment to have a closer look and talk to some of the witnesses.

I must confess that my first reaction when I came across the accident scene was to wonder what the young driver must have doing to end up like they did. I know it’s a biased and wrong attitude and I certainly could not have been more mistaken. This young man had been doing nothing more than acting as designated driver for a group of his friends. The intersection is in a 40km zone and the 40 something year old driver of the other vehicle had been doing 75km. At the time of impact he was still doing 60km. His skid marks ran for some twenty meters before he hit them and he hit them hard enough to push them sideways across the round-a-bout. I won’t include what I said to him as it’s probably not something to be proud of.

This particular intersection is a nightmare. They are currently doing road works and are putting in lights and it has been reduced to 40km for the past 6 months. I go through that intersection every day and have people flashing their lights, riding my tail, overtaking on double lines and overtaking in the turning lanes in order to get past and speed onwards. WHY?? More often than not I end up right behind them or beside them at the next set of traffic lights. All I can say is the driver of that 4 wheel drive should consider himself extremely fortunate that he didn’t seriously injure or kill any of those kids, and may his time away from driving be spent considering a change in attitude behind the wheel…

My wish this Christmas is that everyone would slow down and drive safely so EVERYONE may have a safe and Merry Christmas with all their loved ones!!

END of my rant.

Journal Comments

  • Karen Cougan
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