Vast numbers of people believe in angels even though they have never seen one for themselves. By all accounts there are also many people who claim to have seen them, these angels, or in other words those heavenly bodies who are according to popular belief, and of course frequently mentioned in the Christian Bible, in the service of God. Well, I for one have never seen one of these fabulous entities, those creatures emitting radiant light and with huge wings sprouting from their backs but I do believe that angels are to be found roaming our planet disguised as ordinary people and who are capable of doing wondrous things. It’s at this point that you are expecting me to give you an example of an angel who came to my aid aren’t you? Sorry to disappoint you … even though I have indeed frequently been blessed by some rather special people, ‘angels’ indeed. No, what I am going to write about is ‘What I Don’t See’ (well, I don’t see cherubim and seraphim so I suppose that counts?)
‘What I Don’t See’ is a rather a broad subject so I will narrow it down to some classic motoring examples.
First off, ‘What I Don’t See’ on the open roads while I am travelling at the legal speed limit for the area in which I am driving are the emblems on the front of those fast German cars, you know, BMWs, Porsches, Audis and Mercs in my rear view mirror, and shortly thereafter for only a fleeting second or two after they rocket past me. Also guilty are minibus taxis. They are in themselves a sick joke because most of them display 100Km stickers on the rear of the vehicle yet they somehow and while fully overloaded fly past me when I am travelling at 120km/hr! What I don’t see are traffic police pulling them over while I have often been stopped ‘for a random check’ while doing the legal speed limit and which usually results in me having to pay over some sort of bribe for some ridiculous minor issue, like, believe it or not, having a burnt out parking light globe!
Next. There is a stretch of road I travel on almost every day that is riddled with the most horrendous potholes. I mean really horrendous! Definitely truck damaging but certainly car destroying, they are THAT bad. In fact, a bit further along the road some pothole repairs have indeed been made but even these ‘repairs’ have already become history, they are potholes once more so, when you come to think of it, why bother repairing them at all?! But that aside, what I don’t see are people attending to any of these highly dangerous road conditions. On the other hand, near to this stretch of road gangs of orange-clad workers are to be seen busily trimming the long grass on either side of the tarmac strips connecting the potholes! Oh well, at least when your tyre explodes when hitting one of these potholes you have a nice neat verge on which to roll your car …
Thirdly, what about the rebranding in some areas of their ‘Traffic Police’ to what is now laughingly referred to as ‘Public Safety’ (or, unbelievably, ‘Community Safety’)? Time for an example.
The road leading into a small town near to where I live goes through a significant dip while simultaneously taking a rather sharp, tree-lined, bend to the left which quickly becomes a steep rise going over a narrow bridge and almost immediately thereafter takes a bend to the right. No signs posted along the way indicating that there are bends in the road and certainly NO big red dot signs saying that this is a ‘High Accident Zone’ which in itself is a ludicrous situation. But back to the story. One day a huge ore-carrying truck with double trailer broke down in this dip and blind corner. The truck driver and his assistant were doing their best to warn oncoming traffic of the hazard their truck was causing while, at the time, a mechanic was busy working on getting it going again. It goes without saying that the truck must have been standing there for some time already if it was being worked on. What I didn’t see were the ‘Public Safety’ people putting out cones and slowing and directing the oncoming traffic past the dangerous situation and seeing that it had safe passage. So, where were the ‘Public Safety’ people? Were they some kilometres away and actually racing to the scene to ensure that the safety of the public would be taken care of? Nope. They were actually pretty close by if the truth be told. They were in fact manning a speed trap on the other side of the road about 500 metres away from the scene of the breakdown!
I started off this article by mentioning ‘angels’. Our angels of the road should certainly be the so-called ‘Public Safety’ people. That’s their job if the job description emblazoned on the side of their vehicles is anything to go by. But, if the aforementioned example is anything to go by, they are anything but. Do I need to expand any further on ‘What I Don’t See’ as far as traffic and those people who are paid to see to the public’s safety are concerned?
I don’t think so.