ON SATURDAY, Kizzy Bango, 36, was killed in a car accident on the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway, near Claxton Bay. Bango died in circumstances in which it is believed the drag racing of others may have led to her demise. There must be a full and proper inquiry into the circumstances of her death and all those people who are responsible for this latest road fatality must be brought to justice.
The incident is a tragic reminder of the consequences of recklessness on the nation’s roadways. As noted by TTPS road safety co-ordinator Brent Batson, if there is any evidence that the driver who crashed into the rear of Bango’s vehicle on the highway was engaging in any form of illegal street racing, that driver can possibly be charged.
We welcome Batson’s disclosure that Highway Patrol officers will be ramping up their surveillance activities along major highways and join with him in appealing to motorists to be responsible.
Not only must drivers obey the traffic laws, they must be more sensitive to the fact that they share the road with others. The spirit and purpose of these laws is not to frustrate drivers or make their commuting experience difficult. It is to ensure that everyone is allowed to safely make their way across our travelling infrastructure with the lowest degree of risk possible.
When drag racers veer out of special areas that have been designated for the practice of drag racing as a sport and take this practice to ordinary public spaces, they take on added risks. They endanger themselves by operating in environments that have not been designed for the sport’s purpose. And they furthermore endanger unsuspecting members of the public.
Drag racers who race in public spaces are aware of the risks and decide to run those risks as they chase a thrill. On the other hand, ordinary members of the public who get caught up in their activities make no such decision. People like Kizzy Bango are not given this luxury. She became the 71st road fatality for the year.
There are reports that at least three other drivers were involved and that these drivers escaped with relatively minor injuries. While they may have been lucky in this regard, they should not escape the reach of the law enforcement authorities.
Meanwhile, we express condolences to the family of Bango, whose death is a reminder to all of us of the fragility of life, our vulnerability to the actions of others and the inter-connected civic web that connects all of us and makes us each other’s keeper.