When pedestrians make bad things happen to good people

We like to complain about the dangers of driving on Uganda’s roads. Boda-boda riders and taxi drivers rank high on the “Die, stupid driver, die!” pyramid and the rest of us come in second.

Make no mistake. Mostly all Ugandans are very suicidal drivers. You have to be to survive the roads. You have to grit your teeth and throw all rules aside as you navigate the jungle that is Kampala’s roads.

But what about pedestrians? There are many crazy things pedestrians do that cause accidents and they should be held to account for it. Stupid pedestrians are often overlooked. I know because I used to be precisely this sort of criminal.

For instance, the pedestrian who crosses the road looking the other way. Have you ever seen it? It is most amusing. There you are, driving towards this fool crossing the road and they aren’t even looking your way.

Then there is the class A idiot like myself. I don’t think anyone’s ever done quite what I did, to be honest.

I was about 16 years old and growing impatient of crossing the road at Silver Springs in Bugolobi. There was just this steady stream of traffic that wouldn’t abate. After 10 minutes, I decided that I had a guardian angel watching over me (I was quite tight with Jesus at the time) and was going to cross that road soon no matter what!

I saw a truck coming towards me from my right. The road to my left was clear as sunshine. The truck was about 10 meters away from me running at full speed, and I decided to make a mad dash for it.

And smashed squarely into the windscreen of a Toyota that was behind the truck and (quite rightfully) overtaking it. Just like me, the unfortunate driver had seen a clear road and made a dash for it too!

You see how bad things happen to good people? Had I died, this is how the innocent driver would have begun having his last chat with God on this earth.

I did not die, thankfully, else you would not be reading this parable today. I merely passed out for a brief period of time. It was like something straight out of a movie scene. I remember the thud! as I hit the windscreen, the awful screech of tires and my last thoughts being “Heaven or Hell?”.

As I said, I was still tight with Jesus at the time. Today I suspect my thoughts would run along the lines of “See you soon, hell, old pal!”

When I came to, I was lying by the side of the road, surrounded by a crowd. The poor driver was in the middle of an actual beating. The crowd made sounds of fright and jumped back in surprise when I stood up and begun dusting glass off myself, perfectly fine. A few cuts and bruises but otherwise, no broken bones.

Abashed, I confessed to being the sole cause of the accident and disappointed, the crowd stopped beating the driver. To placate their guilt I suppose, they pushed me into his car so he could drive me to the hospital.

That’s the moral, really. Don’t be the careless, impatient pedestrian that makes innocent vehicle users look like this:


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