Our lives with potholes

Megan Mclean

The Easter holidays have finally arrived, but with it comes the traffic chaos and stress of travelling.

In 2013, transport minister Ben Martins said preliminary figures indicated that at least 241 people died in road accidents over the Easter holidays, and 201 fatal crashes were recorded. He said this was mostly due to drinking and driving, fatigue, speeding and also being distracted while driving.

I wonder how many accidents were caused by motorists swerving to avoid potholes last Easter and what these stats are going to be this year?

It is surprising to see the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) fixing the roads; firstly because it is not something one sees often, and secondly because they spend so much time on one section of the road… I have often driven by JRA workers and thought; ‘They must really know what they are doing with this one, they have spent so much time on it’, only to drive by that same area two weeks later and find, that like the phoenix that rises again, the pothole has come back to life.

I have heard that some Joburg residents have become somewhat attached to the potholes in their areas, giving them names, placing signs near them (to insure motorists do not damage and hurt them – the potholes that is – and now I have seen some caring residents placing leaves over their potholes. I can only assume that with winter on the way, this is to make sure the hole in the road does not get cold at night.

Maybe JRA is waiting until after the Easter holidays to fix all the potholes? After all, the potholes could become a way to amuse the kids while driving to your destination. When I was young, my sister and I would play Punch Buggy – maybe the children of today are going to start playing Spot the pothole.

All jokes aside, roads in Johannesburg are a mess and it should come as no surprise to motorists to find an unmarked pothole on a dangerous road. Please be careful this Easter, drive safely and come back to our busy city refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the year.

  AUTHOR
Megan McLean
Group Editor

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