Lees jou gunsteling-tydskrifte en -koerante nou alles op een plek teen slegs R99 p.m. Word 'n intekenaar
Nuus
Crosses on N14 hit home

We’ve all seen them . . .

Those roadside memorials.

From as early as I can remember, the crosses have stood along roads and highways. Some are rusted, others bear wreaths and there are those that you barely notice in the long grass in the veld.

Living in a city you don’t come across shrines next to tarred streets and concrete buildings. But driving in the largest province in South Africa with long distances between towns, it’s hard not to notice.

You see them everywhere.

Yes, you read about road safety, see campaigns and frequently hear traffic updates on the radio . . . but when I see fresh flowers, photographs and children’s toys on the N14 between Kuruman and Kathu, the truth hits home.

You would think because the Northern Cape is fairly flat, it doesn’t have too many road dangers. Having to report about the frequent accidents on the “road of death”, as locals call it, I hear first-hand about the plight of the drivers and passengers and details about the impact of the accident.

“Four killed, eleven injured as taxi rolls on N14”, “Vehicle rolls, injuring four, Kathu”, “Eight injured in Kuruman taxi accident“ and “Three dead, six injured in collision”, read the headlines.

When I drive past, I look for these shrines. You see two or three or four crosses. But do you know it was a mother and a father whose journey was cut short?

Do you picture school children who lost a teacher who could have made a difference in their lives?

Do you see someone who could have changed the world?

Opinions about roadside memorials are mixed. For many it reminds them how fragile life can be. Others see them as hazardous.

The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) banned all road-side crosses in 2008 because “the symbolic monument in memory of a loved one who died in a car accident draws motorists’ attention away from traffic”.

Years later, memorials still appear everywhere to commemorate the spot where loved ones drew their last breath and their spirit departed. With the festive season upon us, so is the season of unnecessary road fatalities. Hopefully these memorials remind motorists of the dangers on that stretch of road.

MyStem: Het jy meer op die hart?

Stuur jou mening van 300 woorde of minder na MyStem@netwerk24.com en ons sal dit vir publikasie oorweeg. Onthou om jou naam en van, ‘n kop-en-skouers foto en jou dorp of stad in te sluit.

Ons kommentaarbeleid

Netwerk24 ondersteun ‘n intelligente, oop gesprek en waardeer sinvolle bydraes deur ons lesers. Lewer hier kommentaar wat relevant is tot die onderwerp van die artikel. Jou mening is vir ons belangrik en kan verdere menings of ondersoeke stimuleer. Geldige kritiek en meningsverskille is aanvaarbaar, maar hierdie is nie ‘n platform vir haatspraak of persoonlike aanvalle nie. Kommentaar wat irrelevant, onnodig aggressief of beledigend is, sal verwyder word. Lees ons volledige kommentaarbeleid hier

Kontak Kalahari Bulletin Kontak ons
Stemme

Hallo, jy moet ingeteken wees of registreer om artikels te lees.