While I was driving to work this morning some bigwig from some traffic-related department was informing the entire audience (estimated at three, as there are about that many people in Johannesburg right now) about how the Christmas road safety campaign was coming to an end. This will be followed by the Easter campaign in which punishment for reckless or drunk driving will be escalated significantly. If you get caught, there is a chance your licence will be taken away from you and you will have to start the process from scratch – learner’s permit through to the test.

I think this is an excellent idea. There are too many men out there with small penises who drive badly to compensate. And there are just as many sexually frustrated women doing stupid things. I don’t know if there is a relationship between the two, but hey, who knows?

(Image from meamscifi on Flickr)

But it also poses a serious problem. While passing your learner’s licence is relatively easy, getting the actual licence is a bit like going into Mordor.

The first challenge is reversing out of a parking. Anyone who has been driving for longer than six months will lose the ability of finding his or her own way out of a parking bay. This is because there is always a car guard around when you leave. And there is no avoiding them and their enthusiasm in showing you how to manoeuvre out of the space.

Another issue would be negotiating potholes. Over the past three years or so, most of the roads around South Africa have started to resemble the surface of the moon (if you can imagine a tar-coloured moon). If anyone can tell me what the correct procedure is for getting around or over a pothole when you’re doing a driving test I will make you a sandwich.

And these are minor…
(Image from SweetDaddyP on Flickr)

78% of licensed drivers do not know how to use their indicators. Apparently you need a degree in physics to flick a lever up or down. So, statistically only about 0.005% of people who have to redo their licence will be able to pass.

Therefore I would like to appeal to everyone to drive carefully. Lives will be saved, and even if you’re just a total jerk who doesn’t care, the administrative nightmare of getting a new licence is just not worth it.