SA's most obedient driver honoured

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IOL mot mar13 old driver a INLSA Hazel Souma (middle) poses with her 1982 Ford Cortina and Transport Minister Sbusiso Ndebele (left of middle). The 79-year-old has driven for 62 years without receiving a single fine. Picture: Cara Viereckl

Transport Minister Sbusiso Ndebele has honoured a 79-year-old who could very well be South Africa's most obedient driver.

On Tuesday the Minister handed the Ford Cortina driver a certificate for being a “sterling example” of what a driver should be - she's driven on our roads for 62 years without having received a single traffic fine.

“Ms. Souma's unblemished driving record and sterling example is proof that we can put an end to the carnage on our roads,” Ndebele said.

PERSON OF HABIT

In an interview with the Cape Argus, the Souma remarked: “I am a person of habit and I plan my day so that I am never in a hurry. I've always been half an hour early for every appointment, so I never need to speed,” she says.

“When the phone rings I don't answer it. I stop at every stop street. It's simple - obey the rules of the road and you won't get in trouble.”

Not only has the Rondebosch grandmother managed to avoid fines but she has never claimed from insurance nor run out of fuel or even hooted at someone. While she has been involved in three minor accidents, none of these were her fault.

For the record, Ms. Souma has managed to steer clear of the chaos in a country where 40 people are killed in road accidents every day on average and where millions of fines are issued every year.

In fact, looking at the period between October 2010 and last year, over six million fines were issued in the country. But imagine if everyone drove like Ms. Souma - surely we'd have certain departments crying poverty…

TIPS FROM A VETERAN

-Manage your time effectively. “I'm a person of habit and I plan my day so that I'm never in a hurry. If you make sure you have enough time to get to every appointment, you'll never have to speed.”

-Don't be tempted to break the law because others do so. “The street in Rondebosch where I live is like a racetrack in the morning: people just drive straight through stop streets. I have never been tempted though. I take my time and I make sure that I come to a complete stop at every robot and stop street.”

-Don't answer your cellphone. “When I drive I just let my phone ring and ring.”

-Learn the rules and stick to them. “If youngsters don't understand that, I'll just tell them to look at rugby - there are rules that every player has to learn. If you break those rules you can't complain if you get penalised.”

-Sources: AFP & Cape Argus



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