DANGEROUS SPORT: Wheels24 readers say illegal spinning in SA can be dangerous and drivers should be fined or jailed. Image: YouTube
Cape Town - Earlier in January, Wheels24 posted a video shared by Crime Intelligence & Community Awareness (Cica) of a man being knocked down by an illegal 'spinning' BMW in a township.
The footage shows the moment a bystander collides violently with a BMW and is tossed through the air.
Arrive Alive's Johan Jonck said: "Very disturbing to see this type of footage. We clearly do not "GET" the need for safety awareness! Our roads are not playgrounds and our vehicles are not toys to play with. A steering wheel can become a murder weapon in the hands of the wrong driver.
We asked Wheels24 readers what they think of illegal car spinning in SA. Interestingly, not everyone is opposed to the sport.
Here's what they had to say:
Drivers should be fined or jailed - 5055 votes (36%)
It's a misunderstood sport, give them track facilities - 3185 (22%)
It's dangerous, the drivers and crowds are reckless - 3052 (22%)
As long as it's done safely, there's no problem - 2881 (20%)
What do you think should be done to curb illegal spinning? Let us know via email, Facebook and Twitter.
After watching the dangerous incident, Justice Project South Africa national chairman, Howard Dembovsky had this to say about illegal spinning in SA.
Dembovsky said: 'Spinning' is an “informal sport” which has been prevalent in South Africa for a long time now, and typically, the BMW E30 is the car of choice for this activity. It is akin to drifting, which is another “sport” practiced worldwide and has little or nothing to do with 'vrrr phaa' exhaust pipe spluttering of VW Golfs the Transport Minister asserts causes so many road fatalities.
"In uncontrolled environments, spinning/drifting is extremely dangerous and although I have seen worse, this particular video is yet another demonstrative example of just how dangerous it can be.
"However, it should have become abundantly clear to all concerned by now that no volume of “preaching” is going to make this practice go away. In my view, what is needed is for a safe environment in which it can be practiced to be provided, preferably in the very townships where it is prevalent – as opposed to thinking that such persons will go to a race track like Kyalami, Swartkop Raceway, etc. to do so. Also key to such an intervention would be avoiding the propensity to over-regulate those venues, and to rather concentrate on crowd safety."
Watch the dangerous spinning video below. Please note: NOT FOR SENSITIVE VIEWERS
"I do however hasten to add that the relatively few injuries sustained currently at such informal events can in no way be compared to the current road carnage experienced on our roads and therefore, blaming it for more than 20,000 deaths on our roads each year (20,180 in 2015, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015) is, in my view, irrational. Township antics may contribute in some small way to the globular carnage count, but by far, the biggest problem on our roads still lies with “ordinary” drivers, their propensity to take risks, failure to identify hazards and take the appropriate evasive action.
"We can blame everything and anything we like, but ultimately, while people can “buy” their driving licenses from corrupt officials and then get away with breaking almost every fundamental rule of the road, so long as they do so within the speed limit, nothing is going to change.
"Whilst individuals undeniably have a role to play, ultimately, the authorities are the only ones with the power to effect the necessary interventions and until such time as they start owning up to this fact and doing their jobs, things will continue to worsen. Locking up alleged offenders for extended periods prior to their conviction and even the commencement of their trial, as the Minister and the CEO of the RTMC assert it is, is NOT the answer either – just by the way – and is similarly irrational."