Reckless drivers must be brought to book - statement by Member of UDEMWO NEC (9 March 2010)

The UDM has learnt with shock of the horrific accident in Soweto yesterday, which claimed the lives of five teenagers. As the women of the United Democratic Movement, who have borne children, we express our heartfelt condolences with the parents, families and friends of the children that have been so horribly taken from us in what appears to have been a drag race on a public road.

Every day we are exposed to this ‘sport’ on our public roads of speeding vehicles, noisy engines and smoking tires. Inevitably these races lead to crashes and yet again innocent bystanders have paid the price. The culture of reckless driving in South Africa, which claims approximately 1000 lives every month, must be stopped.

We call for more visible policing by traffic authorities (as opposed to hiding in bushes with cameras to garner revenue for traffic departments). These drag races are common sights in my neighbourhoods; yet the traffic police fail to do anything to stop them.

We hope that the matter will be brought to trial speedily so that justice can be done. And we sincerely hope that the possible involvement of a celebrity will not have any bearing on the trial; all suspects should be treated as equal before the law, no matter how famous they are.