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Sorry to Disappoint

FeaturesSorry to Disappoint

By Colin Hyde

   There are two obvious reasons why people who want to escape punishment grab on to DESTINY for dear life. One, it is a great help in a calamity to say, well, it could not have been helped, it was to be, man who fu heng wahn heng; and two, we can pass off the things we are ashamed of, to avoid responsibility for our failures.

   Take a deep breath. There’s no such thing as destiny. What we write on our page today, someone might have written on their page a thousand years ago, but their page is their page, your page is your page, and my page is my page. DESTINY is just a word. We are not living in a movie; our failures are not a done deal. There is too much logic in this world in which we live for that. Life is mysterious, not pointless.

   Regular readers of this column might remember this exchange between me and my acquaintance, Mr. Bacchus. I met Mr. Bacchus at Tiger Sandy Bay Farms, and I call him an acquaintance because we never got a chance to become friends, or enemies. Mr. Bacchus had a lot of depth, and I am always eager to learn, and to challenge. I forget what terrible tragic human failure he spoke about, but I remember I said, jokingly: “then one would have to lie to one’s self”. And Mr. Bacchus replied: “if one can”.

   Ah, destiny. Forgiveness begged if I disappointed you. I’m only after establishing that it wasn’t our DESTINY to wreck our tranquil haven. When we get past that, we can start looking at what we can do to help return this little part of the world in which we live, to glory.

Greg didn’t miss the boat

   Can the long arm of the CCJ reach us all the way over here? I know you can’t kos if you disagree with a local judge, but way over there in Barbados or Jamaica or wherever the CCJ sits, if they wanted to give you the sense, they, ehm, can’t get over here by boat so quickly, and two months from now it’s a 6- month break, because only a fool would dare sail across during the hurricane season. We all know that Columbus was some lucky beast. When he was shipwrecked, the islanders befriended him. How he “reciprocated” is the definition of ingratitude.

   Krem News said a judge at the CCJ —notice I didn’t call his name, ha, ha —in essence told SATIIM that they missed the boat on the Maya Lands Rights case. But if I remember correctly, Greg was upfront at the case. Greg was SATIIM then, and if the name of his organization wasn’t there, that was simple oversight.

   I’ll tell you a little story. This is for the Mayan brothers and sisters who have decided they don’t want Greg. It’s not nice to be unfair. You see how many people of European stock won’t acknowledge white privilege? They are either simple or dishonest. No, no, that’s not the story in this case. The story in this case is really about different views on implementing a noble vision.

   Look, all Belize knows that Greg is more than 100% legitimate! It’s okay to disagree with his views. But excuse mi, no, I don’t buy that it’s okay to say he missed the boat. Some are trying to push him off.

   Whoa there, allow me please to sneak this in. My, that was some seeryas “indyan” that Fonso of Wave Fus Ting Da Mawnin spoke about on Wednesday. What, controlling all our flour? I hope dem PUP aren’t getting back into encouraging racketeering. Anybody remember a story about a leopard and his spots?

We need to up our traffic game

   “Sixty-one people died due to road traffic injuries during 2007, 338 were hospitalized, and 565 people were estimated to be slightly injured. A total of 2,501 years of potential life were lost in Belize due to premature death, with a total economic cost of US$11,062,544. This figure represents 0.9% of the Belize gross domestic product. Direct cost was estimated at US$163,503, of which 2.4% was spent on fatalities, 46.7% on the severely injured, and 50.9% on the slightly injured.”

   The above is an excerpt from the report, “Economic impact of fatal and nonfatal road traffic injuries in Belize in 2007”, which was done by Ricardo Pérez-Núñez, Martha Híjar-Medina, Ileana Heredia-Pi, Sandra Jones, and Eugênia Maria Silveira-Rodrigues.

   Some Belizean leader said that our people are our nation’s number one resource, but those are just words. If they were more than words, our leadership would exert itself a lot more to drastically reduce loss of lives and serious injuries caused by reckless driving. Of course, the Transport Department has done a lot of work to improve the safety of road users, but the numbers emphatically say, not enough. It is absolutely horrific, the casualties on our highways. It’s obvious that we have to step up our game. 

   The Transport Department has to start churning out more numbers. We have hundreds of tertiary students who, judging from the number of research papers they share with us, must be doing foreigners’ business. Really, there’s the barest of data in the marketplace. And we need data in the worst way.

   The makers of cars and trucks do big studies on their vehicles. Regular experts go over all their claims to see how accurate they are on things such as miles to the gallon of fuel, acceleration rate, and comfort, so that drivers aren’t hoodwinked. Safety experts run the fine-toothed comb through all the safety features, and rate the vehicles on how they perform in head-on collisions, rollovers, and so on.

  Without much effort, regular folk should be able to find out what types of motorbikes are most likely to be in an accident, find out background information on the individuals who are most likely to get into accidents on motorbikes, find out what time accidents are most likely to occur. It mightn’t mean much, what types of motorbikes get in the most accidents, but again, there might be a critical tale there.

   Everyone knows we have to kill speeding. The primary aim of the Transport Department must be to DESTROY it. When you go to war, go to win. The first visit to make is to the PM’s office. All leadership begins at the top. The Transport Department has to get him to commit to the effort to DESTROY speeding.  It’s no easy task. Those ones who sit on or behind the heavy, high-powered engines are challenged to rein in their steeds. But those ones who push their light, low-powered machines to the max might be in the most danger.

   I notice the buses carrying tourists from Guatemala always come through the village where I live at respectable speed. But at home we have some speed hounds. Crazed car and truck drivers are getting away with madness. Between Roaring Creek and Santa Elena there must be about 15 raised crossings, almost one per mile. On an average day several thousand drivers use that stretch of road. Only about 15 of them are idiots. Ground those 15 idiots, and we don’t need 15 raised crossings. Belize is a country where a few idiots cause thousands to suffer.

   Accidents will happen, but the frequency and severity of accidents in Belize say we are not a very careful or caring people. The number of accidents shows we are losing this road safety race badly. In the research cited in the first paragraph, we see the crazy financial cost of traffic accidents. That alone should make us work harder. When we add in the terrible grief, we must realize that we need an all-out, a total war to stop the carnage.

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