By Uga Carlini
(Uga was one of the first people on the scene of the accident in Kommetjie Rd, Fish Hoek, that took the life of well-loved resident Ray Renaud and his dog. Since then she has been relentless in pursuing the authorities for action. This is her address at the public meeting held in Fish Hoek on 7 July 2011. The follow up meeting will be held on 4 August at the Fish Hoek Civic Centre at 7pm. Viv.) See also http://scenicsouth.co.za//2011/07/action-on-kommetjie-rd/ and
I jotted my thoughts and research down and will be reading it out to you all, as I only have 5 minutes and if one wants to go through damages and deaths caused on Kommetjie rd, well as you all know, it’s going to take a hell of a while longer than that! So:
Thank you all so much for being here tonight. I’m Uga Carlini and I live on Kommetjie road. Mr Renaud and his dog Tiger was killed in front of my house.
When I voted for the first time at the age of 18, I was part of the first democratic elections of South Africa. It was an incredible experience and something to be proud of. After the 1994 elections and studies, I travelled extensively, so the second time I got to vote was this year, when I voted for the DA who ‘delivers for all’ and who ‘keeps doing things better’. It is now a decision that I regret immensely. Let me ‘STATISTICALLY’ explain why:
· Sunday 5 June 2011 Ray Renaud and his dog Tiger are killed by a speeding sedan, travelling at an estimated 120km per hour, overtaking on a solid road lane. He was on his way to buy the newspaper. He was standing on a painted island in the road, as there is only ONE pedestrian crossing on Kommetjie rd and the across the road from false bay college and it is ironically too dangerous to use.
· August 20th, 2009 The Echo newspaper reports on ACCIDENT INTERSECTION, Kommetjie rd and I quote ‘An accident waiting to happen. This is how the intersection of 17th avenue and Kommetjie rd fish hoek, has been described.’
The day before that, on the 19th of August, after the newspaper had already gone to print, Gabrielle Bauwer, 19, died after being hit by a taxi that had jumped a red light. She was walking on the pavement and with her dog.
· A Carlisle Lodge Resident was hit by a car, had a fractured leg and died a week later. Two of their residents have had serious car accidents while trying to leave the property on the Kommetjie Road side. Carlisle Lodge changes its entrance from Kommetjie Road to Nelson Road because of the danger to their residents and their families.
· 25th July 1998. Mrs Hacking was killed by a reckless driver travelling at an excessive speed without its lights on. She was crossing Kommetjie road at night with her husband Mr Hacking after a function at the Catholic Church. The vehicle hit and carried her past the Hillside junction, a distance of over 40 metres. There were protests in the media, meetings, presentations. Local and traffic authorities had much to say about alternatives, budgets and their priorities. However, nothing was done then and very little later.
· 2007. A CYCLIST dies on Kommetjie Road near Capri when he was hit by a car.
· 17 December 2008. A man was travelling down Kommetjie Road toward Sun Valley at high speed and lost control of his vehicle. The woman who was with him died. The vehicle was a mangled wreck of iron, glass and plastic.
· Taxi crash injures 20 2008. A HEAD-ON collision involving a taxi and an Opel Monza in Kommetjie Road on Sunday evening leaves five people in a critical condition and 15 injured.
· A 64-YEAR-OLD motorcyclist was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries on Friday afternoon, 27 May, when he collided with another vehicle on Kommetjie Road.
· 23 March 2011. A woman gets hit by a bus on Kommetjie road. She dies and her body is left for hours at roadside.
· FATAL CRASH: The driver of a Opel Kadette died when his car hit a tree in Kommetjie Road during the pelting rain in the early hours of Saturday morning.
· HIT AND RUN: A doctor from Wynberg Military Hospital was knocked of his bike by a Quantum taxi while he was cycling on Kommetjie Road in Fish Hoek.
· FISH HOEK POLICE arrested one of their own members for drunk driving after he crashed a police vehicle into a wall on the corner of Kommetjie Road and Fifth Avenue.
· A minibus taxi driver fell asleep behind the wheel travelling at high speed and ploughed into a 3 metre palm tree. He then hit the wall and continued down the wall, over 2 further palm trees, stopping on top of the street light. Kommetjie rd resident Peter Kotze was left to fit the bill of R30 000 in damage, grateful though that this time, his family was saved.
For more ‘real’ statistics, witness reports on personal losses, disabilities and post traumatic stress syndromes due to Kommetjie rd related accidents, please view the online petition at scenic south which includes notes by Kommetjie rd victims. Currently data is being collected from Site 5 and Ocean View residents who have suffered losses, injuries and traumas on Kommetjie rd as well.
Officials there is a problem. A serious one. What is even more serious is that you had so much time to do something about it with very little being done. Viv stated communications about the same issues as far back as 1992. I was still at school than. And that’s a while ago now…
The thing is, it is in your hands. Budgets and arterial roads aside, if this had to be your daughter? Your father? Your anything, would budgets, arterial roads and under staffed be so convenient a cop out to use. Who puts an arterial road without barely any traffic calming measures in a residential area filled with nursery schools, churches, old age homes, a college and residential homes? It’s there now, so please handle it accordingly.
I have seen emails calling for this meeting to remain without emotional outbursts and finger pointing at the officials. But with so many chances given, so many years given to truly act, it’s quite frankly a gigantic disappointing disgrace. We have been failed in a terrible fashion and to JP Smith and friends, ‘statistics might be blown out proportion’, apparently ‘suggest otherwise’ as ‘ultimately it’s about balancing priorities’ to you all, (as said on Cape Talk). But I don’t know what stats you are looking at and to mention that when you were here to fine people and that *700 fines for speeding were given? Am I missing something here, 700?!!!!!!
If enough of you in high positions stand together and call for action and exception and budget to be given, it will happen. I am asking you know, to do it. To be the change. It’s suppose to be your job. You signed up for it, willingly. That’s why I voted because I believed you could. My taxes pay your salaries after all.
And JP Smith, when you said that letters don’t matter, petitions don’t count, that it all means nothing. Well….
Mr Hacking is in the audience tonight. 25th July 1998. Mrs Hacking was killed by a reckless driver travelling at an excessive speed without its lights on…
I have many letters. They all tell powerful, heart breaking stories.
John Lee 124 Kommetjie rd, the corner where Gaby died. Her body was found in his garden. His children were home at the time:
To whom this stressing matter concerns; that is those ostriches that have their statistical heads buried in the ground. It is not safe for me to be in my own yard incase a speeding car comes crashing through my wall. I have value for live.
Officials, I’m going to leave you all with some words from a very brave and broken Lydia, Gaby’s mom. Her courage and humility is incredible and inspiring. She too is here tonight.
This might be a little headache to you. It’s one hell of heartache to all of us:
My precious daughter, Gaby was, at age 19, robbed of her life, her hopes and dreams of one day becoming a wife and a mother, and so much more, because a man had made the CONCIOUS DECISION to NOT adhere to the speed limit. Her death WAS NO ACCIDENT! She was on the pavement, walking her little Dachshund, when she was hit by the taxi from Masi.
Now, after nearly two years have passed, NOTHING worthwhile has been done to better law-enforcement. Is it because she was not YOUR daughter….. all of you who are in a position to make decisions, having been voted in to influence others to make decisions that will safeguard the general population from each other and from themselves?
For nearly two years now we have survived her death and it has been bitterly hard. The man who killed her has effectively sentenced me and my family to a lifetime of grief and through your disinterest you are guilty too!
I keep hoping, dreaming that I will see Gaby again…..but I cannot, for she is buried in Albertinia, near the school she loved so much and when I stand in front of her grave I do not hear her voice amongst the laughing children on the playground. She will never come home again, carrying a little bunch of flowers which she had plucked for me….like she used to do. I have to live on in this life because I am forced to, not because I desire to…..not after her death.
“Every man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind” council and you?
….. our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter. (Martin Luther King jnr)