‘Stop’ actually means ‘go’ in this town

I live on Donegal Road and often take walks through my peaceful, beautiful neighbourhood. One Friday morning I had a pleasant encounter with a lovely resident, which I felt needed to be shared with the community in the hope of attracting some advice.

I was walking along the road at about 10am when I saw a brown Mercedes-Benz/ Beemer (sorry, I’m not good with cars) come barreling towards me, blowing right through a stop sign without even pausing. I shook my head and mouthed something sarcastic at him. The man behind the wheel beeped at me and sped on.

I went for another walk in the afternoon, at about 1.55pm. While crossing the relatively wide intersection of Donegal and Lismore Streets, I heard a car approaching at speed behind me, clearly with no intention of stopping. I turned to look, and sure enough, there was the same brown car (what a happy coincidence) shooting right through the stop sign, at speed, just as another car was trying to turn across his path into Lismore Street.

So I shook my head dramatically and gave the man some sarcastic applause. This caused him to act in a way that no stop sign could. He squealed to a halt and reversed to confront me.

I walked up to his open window and sized him up. He was an old-ish guy. I asked him if he knew what a stop sign looked like. He told me to “f#@k off”, and then continued with a few more variations on the same theme. I raised my eyebrows and responded by saying “nice” and nodding towards the young woman sitting in the passenger seat holding a wide-eyed toddler on her lap (unsecured). I was told to “[email protected]#k off ” a few more times. He then informed me he would “get out of this car and [email protected]#k me up.” After exchanging cuss words at each other, he then pulled off and left me with his final insult.

Later on, I watched a young man in a white VW Passat speed through another stop sign. Unfortunately, this gentleman was too busy staring at his phone to notice my sarcastic applause.

So what’s the solution? Mr Friendly and Mr Phone certainly aren’t the only people to commit this dangerous offence. I see it every day. The police put on a show of force, targeting similar offenders outside Krugersdorp High School a couple of months ago. This lasted about two days, and we haven’t seen them since.

But to be honest, cops aren’t the solution. No-one can police the myriad stop signs in our neighbourhoods that are blithely ignored multiple times a day, every day, by almost everyone.

So does anyone have any suggestions? Maybe stop signs should be replaced with people applauding sarcastically? That certainly seems to work.

I dunno. But something has to be done. Because personally, I would like to walk around this neighbourhood without fear of being run over, beaten up or shot by over-aggressive and indignant dead-eyed fools who have no respect for rules or other people’s safety.

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