NARROW ESCAPE: I nearly got involved in two accidents because of irresponsible road users -- Ashley Graig

RECENTLY had a horrible experience on the road when I barely escaped getting involved in two accidents within a span of three days because of reckless road users.

On the first occasion, I was happily driving to work one morning when the driver of the car in front of me threw out an empty bottle of mineral water. Perhaps due to the light weight of the bottle, it hit the ground and bounced up towards my car.

My automatic reaction was to avoid colliding into anything in my path. I swerved to my left and barely avoided crashing into the car on that lane.

Two days later, I was on my way to a lunch appointment. The traffic was pleasantly smooth (yay to school holidays!), so I was in no rush and kept a fair distance from the car ahead of me. To my horror, I saw an emptied packet of potato chips, along with tissue paper and a Coca-Cola tin being thrown out from the passenger side of the car. One by one, mind you.

I almost couldn’t believe my eyes and the temptation to grab my mobile phone to start recording the idiocy in front of me was almost unbearable. The only thing that stopped me from doing so was the fact that I was the only one in the car and couldn’t afford to take my eyes off the road even for a moment, lest I risk an accident.

However, the last item that was thrown out from the car was the one that gave me the fright of my life. It was a red plastic bag, and it started flying and landed right on my windscreen. It blocked my view and I braked hard in terror. Vehicles behind me had to swerve to avoid smashing into me. Luckily, the plastic bag flew off and I continued my journey, pounding heart and all.

That was when panic and fear turned into rage. I was so angry with drivers and passengers for their carelessness and ignorance on the road, and how it could have caused accidents. It didn’t help matters that both incidents took place within a short span of time, and there was nothing that I could do about it.

Some months back, someone in a moving car in front of me threw out a used diaper and it hit the bumper of my car. I found faeces all over the front part of my car when I reached work. I thought that was bad enough, until these incidents took place.

I can’t fathom the logic behind littering on the road. Do these people think they possess the right to throw rubbish wherever they like because they pay road tax?

Do these people think they are entitled to litter on the road because “that’s what road cleaners are for”?

Do these people think that it is acceptable to toss unwanted things as they please just because it isn’t their home?

We need to comprehend the fact that littering can never and will never be justified, whatever the circumstances. We need to understand the fact that littering is an act which reflects our bad upbringing. We need to come to terms with the fact that littering is wrong on all levels and thus should never be practised.

The government and many in the private sector have worked hard to come up with anti-littering campaigns.

For decades, schoolchildren have been taught to use the rubbish bin and recycle wherever possible. What has happened to all of that? Could all these people have forgotten the fundamentals of their education?

It’s heartbreaking to see people acting like this. It does nothing but put our education system to shame, both formal (school) and informal (parents).

It’s high time for us to grow up and act like mature, educated adults. Stop being litterbugs and have respect for the environment.

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