Today South African Olympic mountain biker Burry Stander died after a collision with a taxi o the south coast in Kwazulu-Natal. This month two years ago, another top cyclist, Carla Swart, died when she was hit by a truck while on a training ride. AA managing director Karen Bryden notes the tragic regularity of cycling accidents on our roads: "During 2010, 252 cyclists alone were killed and an estimated 800 more injured." (http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Cyclist-deaths-on-roads-increase-20121017).This is close to home for me. My good friend Allen Rodgers was hit from behind by a driver who never bothered to stop. He lay in a coma in hospital for a week, before beginning a very painful and slow recovery. And I have a nephew who is a professional cyclist, braving traffic every day while he trains for road races.
I am angry. And sad. Because we drive our vehicles with reckless disregard for human life. It seems that getting behind a steering wheel de-sensitises us to the humanness of the other people who share our road space. Instead the daily commute becomes a competition for road space that is conducted with viciousness and brutal efficiency.
I will choose to drive with sacred regard for the lives of those around me.