Let’s share our roads responsibly


30 August 2020

Polo drivers must heed the warning

Vusi Nzapheza


We all know someone who drives a Volkwagen Polo.
Polo drivers have come under the cosh in recent times for being the bane of other motorists on the road.

It is said that when you come across an accident and there’s a Polo in the mix, you can bet your last dime that it’s the Polo that caused the crash.

When alcohol was unbanned two weeks ago, petitions went out to Polo drivers to behave, lest they take us all back to alert level five of the lockdown. I do not have the statistics to support the claim that Polo drivers are the worst.

I do know, however, that they have taken the mantle from BMW drivers, who used to be a menace on our roads. The powerful gusheshe and G-string models seemed to bring out the worst from their owners.

The Polo, which deposed the Toyota Corolla as the best-selling car after three decades, has come into its own as the starter pack of choice. Since its debut over two decades ago, it has carved a reputation as a reliable and cost-effective vehicle.

Volkswagen even boosted the performance of the Polo with a faster GTi edition to take on its elder sibling, the vrrphaa Golf. Unfortunately, Polo drivers have now brought this brand into disrepute. Stop any Polo on the road and you’re likely to find a cooler bag filled with beer in the boot.

My sister, who does not touch anything with methanol, may be the only exception. However, I once found myself fidgeting when she raced a Mercedez-Benz C-63 on the N1. This unfolded on our trip from Joburg to Limpopo two years ago.

My days as a Michael Schumacher ended in blood and tears three years ago and I do not relish an encore, whether I’m behind the wheel or on the passenger seat. Mine is an extreme case of once bitten, twice shy.

As a connoisseur of booze, I have watched with alacrity as road accidents spiked after the alcohol ban was lifted.

I am mortified that after suffering from a lockdown drought imposed to reduce accidents, some panjandrums are foolish enough to take the wheel while inebriated.

Transport Minister Razzmatazz Mbalula this week announced that by December, any driver found with even a whiff of alcohol in their blood will be arrested. I do not know whether he is bluffing or not, but I foresee the cells filling up as chance-takers ignore the law.

For starters, alcohol takes hours to metabolise and if you had drinks the previous day, you are likely to test positive the following day. Razzmatazz means well, unlike one of his predecessors, Sibusiso Ndebele, who promised to cut the maximum speed limit to 100km/h to reduce speed-related accidents but failed to implement his threat.

Ndebele also warned that traffic cops will be empowered to confiscate and tear up your driver’s licence if found in the wrong but once again, he never followed it up.

As for Polo drivers, never complain that you have not been warned.



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