What is a car that makes its driver become a fool?
A motorcar has always been more than a mode of transport.
Sure, some see it as but a means to get from A to B. The jalopy allows for one to drop the kids off at school. Or for the student to get to class, or to run an errand. To pick up groceries.
For others owning a motorcar is a dream come true, especially those who all their life relied on walking, or getting by on pedal power.
We have Henry Ford to thank for mass producing the motorcar – even if he said you could have it in any colour as long as it’s black. Clearly now there are too many on our roads, belching greenhouse gas emissions. Hopefully not for much longer.
But for many the car represents status. A symbol of their wealth and power.
And here’s the rub: once behind the wheel, some drivers become anarchic fools.
Not only do they speed, they also drive recklessly.
Then they park:
Not like all other mere mortals but straddling two parking bays. “Check my wheels but stay clear.” Go figure…
But the absolute worst: an able-bodied person purposefully driving into the parking bay reserved for drivers relying on a wheelchair. These spaces are generally situated close to a mall entrance or business, for those less mobile than most – not for some fool to seize.
Don’t dare confront them.
“I’m in a rush; just picking up something, it’ll be quick.” Usually, it isn’t.
Callous, mean, arrogant, selfish.
Mostly, however, you’ll be the target of extreme verbal abuse – or physical threat.
Who are these fools?
Often the stinking rich, flashy, egotistic. Or a diplomat, or a pompous government type, a minister even.
Worse still, in many instances, the police and the military. In uniform, they are above the law: it’s their right to do as they wish. In their mind…!
Try admonishing them, at your peril. See the hand go to the pistol in the holster on the hip…
Still, the law is clear:
Section 137 of the Road Traffic Act 29 of 1989 empowers municipalities to provide special parking spaces for people with prescribed disabilities or persons who transport them. These spaces are clearly and visibly marked, often a painted sign on the ground. Such spaces are usually wider for the ease of manoeuvring a wheelchair.
Numerous organisations, like the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) and the National Council of & for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) work hard to educate the public on behalf of their members; to use these spaces for their specific purpose. Support them.
Interestingly, QASA is adamant that if you don’t use a wheelchair, then don’t use the wheelchair parking facilities.