Winter Trail Days at Wisp

first_imgWe are just over a week into 2013, so you have probably already broken your New Year’s resolution…and that’s ok. Don’t feel too badly, a full 75 percent of resolutions don’t survive. Goal setting is an important aspect of living a healthy, productive life but sometimes they are unrealistic, become a burden, and are better left out of your plans for the upcoming year. Some people are able to stick to their resolutions through the entire year. These people are crazy, and you can be too, with a little tweak to your approach. Instead of having cut and dry promises – saying you are going to run 50 miles a week, for example – use the resolution to frame a mindset of adventure and personal growth. A great example of this is commit yourself to taking every opportunity to “try something new” in 2013. This methodology may not have the same on-paper results you may crave, but you are definitely more likely to succeed.Take a giant step in the right direction this weekend during Winter Trail Days. Resorts across the country are offering free rentals, demos, and lessons in snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, the perfect opportunity to get out there and try either if you have not had the pleasure. If you are an old pro, why not help others get involved and either volunteer or just be on hand to assist newbies.Head up to Wisp Resort in McHenry, Maryland on Saturday for a full day of fun activities including demos, clinics, a kids snowshoe race, bonfire and giveaways. The event runs from 9am to 5pm and clinics are first come, first served so be sure to show up early.View Larger Maplast_img read more

OMSCC confirms staging of Toronto Cup III

first_img… seeks to introduce white ball for Division One teamsBy Frederick HalleyTORONTO, Canada — The third edition of Toronto Cup, organised by the Ontario Masters Softball Cricket Clubs (OMSCC) will be staged on August 30, 31 and September 1 this year.During his report at the league’s Annual General Meeting, held at the Scarborough Civic Centre last Sunday, president Azeem Khan disclosed that the two previous tournaments were resounding successes and it’s anticipated that this year’s staging will be even bigger and better.Apart from teams in Ontario, others are also expected from Guyana, New York and Florida. Khan was full of praise for all those who were instrumental in the successful staging of the previous tournaments, including the sponsors, organising committee and volunteers among others.According to the Guyanese-born Khan, last year was quite a successful one for the league with new champions emerging in all three divisions: Skeldon Sports Club in the Over-50, Ramblers in Division Two and Warriors in Division One.He extended special congratulations to the championship winners and runners-up, all the participating teams and also to the Inter-County winners. Khan highlighted three teams – Caribbean Sensation (51), Ramblers (54) and Our Own (51) who past 50 points during the 2018 season.Special ‘thank you’ was also extended to the several sponsors, spouses of players, umpires and all those who assisted in any way. Khan, however, called on members to do more in the area of sponsorship. “I am asking every team to make a special effort to bring a sponsor(s) to us. Looking at sponsorship at home and abroad, it seems that your league is at the bottom; we challenge you to change that.”Khan also had special kudos for his board members, expressing sincere thanks for their hard work, dedication and advice. “It’s not only about your playing but the backend work on uploading stats, registrations, getting umpires, league communication, and interruption to their work and familyThe president reiterated that captains and every player have a role, not only to win games and control of players’ conduct but to continue working on strict compliance with permit rules. “It’s been 15 or 16 years since we have reached out to you on full permitcompliance; now we ask that you challenge yourself and your teammates to be fully compliant. I met with a Toronto City councillor recently and working on meeting with a schoolboard trustee, the discussion is all about softball cricket and grounds.Meanwhile, OMSCC, which is celebrating 20 years this year, is exploring the possibility of introducing white balls for teams in Division One. Towards this end, the league sent out a survey earlier this year, seeking the players’ approval. According to OMSCC, “over the years, just about every aspect of our games has changed except for the type of ball used, the pinky and the red supreme ball. Based on requests from our own players and others in the US and Guyana, we think the time has come to introduce the white ball.”Among the reasons listed were: Numerous players from OMSCC and several others who play in the other leagues in Guyana, USA and Canada and participate in International tournaments have voiced their request and support for OMSCC moving from the red to the white balls.OMSCC pointed out that it will recommend the use of a variety of protective gear such as body cups, shin pads, batting gloves and even the use of helmets if necessary; wicket-keeping gloves are mandatory.At Sunday’s meeting, OMSCC recognised the contributions of Littles Sports Club which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. An official of the club was presented with a bat, compliments of Black Hash Sports.Apart from Khan, whose post wasn’t up for grabs this year, the other executive members are vice-president Feizal Bacchus who retained his post, Khem Singh, Paul Jaman and Dickey Singh who were also retained as treasurer, Over-50 coordinator and umpires coordinator respectively. The new secretary is Jas Mathura while Indira Singh who held the post of web content administrator is now player management statistician.last_img read more

Three arrested for breaking into students’ cars

first_imgDiana Kruzman | Daily TrojanPolice recovered a student’s stolen car north of campus late Tuesday night, only to find that it was filled with items stolen from other students earlier that day.Los Angeles Police Department officers received a call that the stolen car had been spotted in the area at around 11:50 p.m., and quickly arrived at the scene, along with Department of Public Safety officers and at least one LAPD helicopter. Three people were arrested in connection to the theft, and students were blocked from entering the section of Shrine Place, where the car was found, while police confronted the suspects. Danielle Binnette, a sophomore majoring in economics, said she woke up Tuesday morning to find that her car, a black SUV, was missing from her garage on Shrine Place. She reported the theft to DPS, and after reviewing security footage, she said officers determined that a man had entered her garage and taken her car, leaving the car he came in — which had also been stolen. Binnette said that her garage was locked, and she is unsure how the man was able to get in — but she was in the process of getting the locks on her car doors replaced, and her car key was inside at the time her car was stolen. Diana Kruzman | Daily Trojan“I think they were looking around beforehand, because on the video, they went straight for my car,” Binnette said. “They knew whose car to go into, because my locks hadn’t been working for a week.” Binnette only found out that her car had been recovered when she looked outside her window just before midnight and saw it on the street, surrounded by police officers. Automatic license plate readers placed around the perimeter of USC had detected the stolen car heading southbound on Menlo Avenue, according to LAPD officers at the scene, who blocked it on Shrine Place before arresting the suspects at gunpoint. Once Binnette realized it was her car, however, she said that many of the items in it weren’t hers — and several other students confirmed that their cars had been broken into, and their possessions were found in Binnette’s car. Francisco Schirls, a sophomore majoring in film production, realized that his car had been broken into at around 9 p.m. Tuesday, and that several items had been stolen — including his guitar, a drone and the insurance and registration information for his vehicle. Schirls, who lives on Menlo Avenue, says his car was unlocked — but Maxim Smirnoff, a senior majoring in cinema and media studies who lives with Schirls and whose car was also broken into, said he locked his car and is unsure how the suspects got in. Smirnoff said his headphones and longboard were stolen and are still missing, while his books and several other items were found in the recovered vehicle. “I went through every scenario in my head,” Smirnoff said. “I lock everything, so that’s why I’m kind of paranoid. I have an alarm, I lock my car — and the stuff I had in there was hidden, not in plain sight.” For Binnette, the experience turned out to be a wake-up call. “I’ll be more careful,” Binnette said. “I need to order those locks, and not keep my keys in my car. I thought one day would be OK, but no.”last_img read more

Live Blog: Men’s Basketball vs. UCLA

first_imgTonight’s game tips off at 7:30 p.m. PST and we’ll be using Cover It Live to provide live updates from Galen Center for USC basketball’s Pac-10 matchup against crosstown rival UCLA. Be sure to check out our Twitter feed as well for instant info @DT_Sports.<a href=”;task=viewaltcast&#038;altcast_code=79c12e6bee” >Men&#8217;s Basketball: USC vs. UCLA</a>last_img

Teenager gives new Real boss first Liga win, Barca shine in late show

first_imgLopetegui had repeatedly bemoaned a lack of luck too during his bad run and even that appeared to turn in Solari’s favour. Vinicius’ shot cannoned in off Olivas between Valladolid twice hitting the crossbar and Karim Benzema winning a dubious late penalty.“When the ball won’t go in you have to keep calm,” Ramos said. “You have to ignore the uncertainty that is created. Finally, we have a positive result for our confidence.”There were whistles at half-time from the home crowd, and during the second half as well, but cheers, perhaps of relief, at the end.Gareth Bale was not on the pitch to hear them after he had been replaced in the 71st minute with the team still searching for a goal. Previous coach Julen Lopetegui had, understandably, decided Madrid’s B team was the best place for Vinicius to settle but with every chance missed, the youngster’s reputation has swelled. Madrid, Spain | AFP | Santiago Solari tasted victory in his first La Liga match in charge of Real Madrid but he had 18-year-old Vinicius Junior to thank for their 2-0 win over Real Valladolid on Saturday.Solari threw Vinicius on with the score goalless and tension building at the Santiago Bernabeu but the striker delivered, before Sergio Ramos’ late penalty gave the scoreline a deceptively comfortable look.Madrid’s day might have been even better had Rayo Vallecano seen out the 2-1 lead they enjoyed over Barcelona with four minutes left at Vallecas.Instead, Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez scored for Barca in the 87th and 89th minutes to pull off a remarkable comeback, in the absence of Lionel Messi.It means Ernesto Valverde’s side sit four points clear at the top of La Liga, seven ahead of Real and now four up on Atletico Madrid, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Leganes.For Real and Solari, victory was all-important. Their opener in the 83rd minute was an own-goal, deflected off Kiko Olivas, but prompted by Vinicius’ weaving run and shot, the kind of exuberance Madrid’s toothless attack has been so bereft of in recent weeks.Vinicius celebrated by running over to the bench and hugging Solari. He knows the youngster better than anyone at the club, having managed him with Castilla this season.center_img — ‘Not a bunch of kids’ —Madrid, however, head into Wednesday’s Champions League game against Viktoria Plzen with their first win in six league games, as well as their own confidence boosted and their coach’s momentum enhanced.“This is an experienced group, not a bunch of kids,” Solari said. “They have found themselves too.”Madrid might have held little hope of reducing the gap on Barcelona this weekend but 19th-placed Rayo Vallecano came within a whisker of doing them a favour.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2last_img read more

Three English players in Walker Cup team

first_img24 Aug 2015 Three English players in Walker Cup team Three English players – Ashley Chesters, Sam Horsfield and Jimmy Mullen – have been selected for the GB&I team for September’s Walker Cup match at Royal Lytham & St Annes.In addition, England boy international Bradley Moore has been picked as a reserve for the match, which will be played on Saturday and Sunday, 12-13 September.The team of 10 players and two reserves includes a record five Irish players – among them is the Brabazon Trophy winner, Cormac Sharvin.GB&I will be aiming to win back the trophy after the USA enjoyed a 17-9 victory in the 2013 match at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, New York.Nigel Edwards, who will be captaining the GB&I team for the third time, said, “We have selected a talented group of players who compete at the highest levels of amateur golf and, in some cases, have played in Major Championships and Tour events. The Walker Cup offers these players a tremendous opportunity to display their abilities and gain invaluable experience of playing in international team competition.“I know there will be players who are disappointed not to have made the team and it has been a difficult decision to make with such strength in depth in the British and Irish game at the moment but we believe we have selected the best players for the team and are very much looking forward to the match.”The GB&I team:Ashley Chesters, 26, Hawkstone Park, EnglandPaul Dunne, 22, Greystones, IrelandGrant Forrest, 22, Craigielaw, ScotlandSam Horsfield, 18, Davenport, Florida, USAJack Hume, 21, Naas, IrelandGary Hurley, 22, West Waterford, IrelandJack McDonald, 22, Kilmarnock (Barassie), ScotlandGavin Moynihan, 20, The Island, IrelandJimmy Mullen, 21, Royal North Devon, EnglandCormac Sharvin, 22, Ardglass, IrelandReserves:Ewen Ferguson, 19, Bearsden, ScotlandBradley Moore, 17, Kedleston Park, EnglandCaptain:Nigel Edwards, 47, Whitchurch, WalesRecent results:2013 The National Golf Links of America, USA 17 GB&I 92011 Royal Aberdeen, GB&I 14 USA 122009 Merion, USA 16½   GB&I 9½England players:Ashley ChestersChesters is the highest-ranked British player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking in sixth position and put in an excellent performance in The Open at St Andrews to finish tied for 12th. The two-time European Amateur Champion and English international reached the last 16 of the Amateur Championship at Carnoustie, finished tied second at the Welsh Open Stroke Play Championship and tied seventh at the Brabazon Trophy.Sam HorsfieldHorsfield was born in England but his family moved to Florida when he was aged five. Currently ranked 23rd in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, the 2013 Florida State Amateur Champion reached the quarter finals of this year’s Western Amateur Championship and qualified for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. He reached the last 32 at last week’s U.S. Amateur Championship.Jimmy MullenMullen is the reigning Welsh Amateur Open Stroke Play Champion. He was part of the England teamwhich finished fourth at the European Amateur Team Championship and also represented his country in this year’s Home Internationals. He finished tied third in the Duncan Putter and tied 19th at the Lytham Trophy. In 2014, he reached the last 16 of the U.S Amateur Championship.Bradley MooreMoore has just been picked to captain the GB&I boys’ team for this week’s Jacques Leglise Trophy match against the Continent of Europe. He won the Carris Trophy recently and has topped the England Golf boys’ order of merit for the past two years.Caption: Ashley Chesters (left) and Jimmy Mullen winning for England (Image © Leaderboard Photography).For more information visit read more

City League Roundup: Schenley win creates four-way tie in City League

first_imgLEADING THE SPARTANS— Running back Jerome Mathews sprints upfield on the wet turf at Cupples Stadium. KEY INTERCEPTION —Deandre Black of Schenley intercepts a pass in front of Tyrail Morgan in the Oliver end zone after the Bears had gotten down to the Schenley three-yard line. Look for someone to drop their second contest of the year whenever Perry and Oliver face off in this year’s football version of the “Battle of the North Side.” This game is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Friday at Cupples. Oliver (3-1) came into the game against Schenley (3-1) as the only undefeated team left in the league. But Spartan senior running back Jerome Mathews was determined to make certain that would not be the case as his team got past the Bears, 6-0, at Cupples Stadium Sept. 26. The Schenley win creates a four-way tie at the top of the standings in the City League. Perry and Brashear join the two with identical marks of 3-1.center_img After a quiet first half, neither team committed a turnover until the 10-minute mark in the third quarter. In fact, there were five committed in an approximate six- minute span. The last was an interception by Schenley’s DeAndre Black in the Oliver end zone after the Bears had gotten down to the Schenley three-yard line. This helped set up a drive in which Mathews led Schenley on an 11- play, 80-yard drive that he capped off with a seven-yard score with close to 11 minutes left to go in the game. In that drive, he carried the ball eight times for 40 yards and was on the receiving end of a 27-yard reception that put the Spartans in Oliver territory. “I just followed my O-line and they got it going for me,” said Mathews. “They did their jobs and I took advantage of those opportunities.”Schenley’s defense held Oliver’s Dante Jeter to only 4/13 for 69 yards and two interceptions. They also held him to 12 carries for minus 30 yards. As a team, they rushed for 28 total yards. David Marshall led the Bears with two carries for 40 yards.“I can’t stress more of how much I commend these guys on how mature they play,” said Jason Bell, Schenley’s head coach. “They came out and played with intensity and passion. With this effort, they deserved to win.”Other games:Perry 13, Peabody 0Once again, Perry was able to rely on their star running back, Richard Lowry, and their defense to lead them past Peabody. Lowry scored on a 4-yard run in the first quarter to give his team a 6-0 lead. However, it wasn’t until 7:13 remaining that he would put the Highlanders away for good with a 25-yard touchdown catch from his quarterback Greg McGhee. Lowry carried the ball 24 times for 84 yards in the game.Peabody’s DeVaughn Jemison was held to 2 of 7 for 9 yards and two interceptions. They committed 13 penalties for 65 yards. Most surprisingly—Highlanders’ running back Jaylen Coleman was held to only 35 yards on nine attempts, just one week after his near 200-yard performance against Langley.Brashear 42, Allderdice 18Brashear’s Bruce Patterson continues to crumble each defense he faces. He led all rushers with 146 yards on 15 carries. Also lighting it up on offense for the Bulls was quarterback Henri Chatman. He threw for three touchdowns to Manasseh Garner (9 yards) and Eric Lynch (43 and 24 yards). He finished with 7 of 13 passes for 147 yards. Manny Reed had a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown, giving him three (kick or punt) in as many games.Allderdice’s Mike Pfleger completed 4 of 11 passes for 48 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. His touchdowns were of 7 and 20 yards to Jared Davis and Jay Barlow, respectively. ’Dice’s running back Patrick Ferguson carried the ball 24 times for 102 yards.(Follow our continuing coverage and add your comments of District 8 football to our website at D.W. Howze can be reached at [email protected] read more


first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (March 12, 2016)–In what appeared to be a case of no one wanting the early lead, California-bred What a View fell into a perfect front-running trip under Kent Desormeaux, as the 5-year-old gelding took Saturday’s Grade I, $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (turf) by 3 ¾ lengths thus providing former rider and current trainer Kenny Black with his first-ever Grade I victory. Over a course listed as “good” due to heavy rains on Friday, What a View covered the mile distance in 1:35.57.“Well, from the ‘View’ I had, everyone was going for the lead and this guy loves that,” said Desormeaux. “I thought that if they all wanted to come at him, then he’d run them into the ground and I wanted to try and win the race that way.“The time is incredible because the turf has a tremendous amount of give…For him to put that number up on the clock, he’s a real racehorse.”A winner of the California Cup Turf Classic versus state-breds here on Jan. 30, What a View, was off at 6-1 in a field of six older horses and paid $14.00, $5.80 and $3.40.“We’ve had some issues with his feet and I just wanted to keep him on the grass,” said Black. “There were some really tough horses in here: Bolo, Bal a Bali and Om, so I knew we were going to have to run big to win.”Bred by Old English Rancho and Patsy and Sal Berumen, What a View is owned by Sal Berumen, Robert Riggio and the Elwood Johnston Trust and partners. With his first graded stakes win, What a View picked up $240,000, increasing his earnings to $532,148. He now has five wins from 11 overall starts.Ridden by Mike Smith, favored Bolo ranged four-wide turning for home but never threatened the winner, finishing second, a nose in front of Bal a Bali.Off at 2-1, Bolo paid $3.80 and $2.80.“I think anybody that was going to lay close to (the winner) was just going to shoot themselves in the foot,” said Smith when asked for assessment of the Kilroe pace. “To be honest, I think that helped us run second. If I had tried to lay close, I wouldn’t have run second.”Ridden by Flavien Prat, Bal a Bali just missed the place at 2-1 and paid $2.60 to show.Fractions on the race were 22.65, 46.25, 1:10.17 and 1:22.64.last_img read more

Popeye Surprises Evolutionists

first_imgAbrupt appearance is not evolution, especially when it appears in one of the very first animals in the fossil record.The eyes have it: evidence for sudden, abrupt creation. Such a conclusion is forbidden to Darwin ideologues (see Robert F. Shedinger’s defense of this label at Evolution News). As a result, Darwin worshipers invent fairy tales to explain the evidence, such as the Popeye Theory of Evolution (7 Dec 2011): eyes just “popped into existence” in the fantasyland of Darwin’s Tinker Toy Shop.Now, even believers in the Popeye Theory are stunned at how quickly eyes popped into existence. Evolutionary biologist Mike Lee uses the word “surprise” six times in his piece at The Conversation, “Eye-opening discovery: 54 million year old fossil flies yield new insight into the evolution of sight.” A press release from Lund University, home of the lead author of the discovery paper in Nature, uses the word “surprise” five times. His statement supports Murphy’s Law of Technology, which says, “All great discoveries are made by mistake.”“We were surprised by what we found because we were not looking for, or expecting it”, says Johan Lindgren, an Associate Professor at the Department of Geology, Lund University, and lead author of the study published this week in the journal Nature.The FossilWhat they found was a fossil crane fly in Denmark so well preserved that even eumelanin (true melanin) was found in its compound eyes. The press release, titled “The composition of fossil insect eyes surprises researchers,” explains that this compound is also found in the eyes of modern crane flies and in human eyes.Eumelanin – a natural pigment found for instance in human eyes – has, for the first time, been identified in the fossilized compound eyes of 54-million-year-old crane-flies. It was previously assumed that melanic screening pigments did not exist in arthropods.Who assumed that? Evolutionists. They were wrong. This eumelanin was there in the fossil, as if it had just popped into existence. If they had been creationists, they would not have been surprised.The Surprise Gets More SurprisingDarwin’s problems with this fossil have just begun. Now, evolutionists have to confront the evidence that eumelanin was also present in the eyes of one of the first arthropods in their phylogenetic tree: trilobites. That’s not just 54 million years ago in Darwin Years. It’s 540 million Darwin Years – ten times as many!Trilobites are the best-known animals from the Cambrian Explosion. Credit: Illustra MediaThe fossilized eyes further possessed calcified ommatidial lenses, and Johan Lindgren believes that this mineral has replaced the original chitinous material.This, in turn, led the researchers to conclude that another widely held hypothesis may need to be reconsidered. Previous research has suggested that trilobites – an exceedingly well-known group of extinct seagoing arthropods – had mineralized lenses in life.“The general view has been that trilobites had lenses made from single calcium carbonate crystals. However, they were probably much more similar to modern arthropods in that their eyes were primarily organic”, says Johan Lindgren.Who held that “general view”? Evolutionists. They were wrong. Eumelanin was not just in crane fly ommatidial lenses, but most likely in the lenses of trilobites 10 times as far back in Darwin’s mythical moyboy timeline. It just popped into existence in the first animals!The fossilised eyes were surprisingly similar to our own eyes in one important way. The back of our eyeball, called the choroid, is dark and opaque; this protects against ultraviolet radiation and also stops stray light bouncing around and interfering with vision. In human eyes, this anti-reflective layer contains high levels of the pigment melanin, the same molecule involved in skin pigmentation…Insects, too, have dark anti-reflective layers in their eyes, but this was long thought to consist entirely of a different molecule, ommochrome. Given that insect eyes arose independently from our own and have an entirely different structure, it seems reasonable that their molecular machinery would also be different.Long thought to whom? Reasonable to whom? Once again, evolutionists, committing the Tontological fallacy, sweep everyone else into their comedy of errors. The facts contradict their “thoughts” and reason. “However, detailed chemical analysis of the fossil cranefly eyes revealed that they contained human-like melanin.”Darwin Flubber to the RescueHow can Mike Lee keep his D-Merit Badge in light of this evidence? He smears on some Darwin Flubber, and believes that miracles happened. Well-designed eyes popped into existence on two separate branches of Darwin’s tree, and stayed the same for as many Darwin Years as necessary to keep the fantasy going.It took fossils to alert us that the eyes of humans and insects both use the same shielding pigments (melanin) – yet another example of convergent evolution.Intriguingly, the outer layers of the fossilised eyes were full of calcite, the mineral that makes up most of limestone. Not only that, but crystals in the calcite were aligned to transmit light efficiently into the eye.The paper in Nature observes that, in addition to this perfect alignment in crane fly eyes, the eyes of trilobites were probably similarly made of chitin, which would have avoided several optical problems had they been composed of calcite as previously believed. In other words, they were better designed than evolutionists thought, from the very beginning!Thus, we conclude that the long-standing hypothesis of calcitic corneas in trilobites requires reconsideration, and that the composition and optic properties of their compound eyes should instead be viewed as akin to those of modern arthropods in being primarily organic.How do these scientists, all 17 of them, including some big-name paleontologists, rescue Darwin from the data? They use their favorite tactic: BAD (Bluffing Assertion of Darwinism).Arthropod compound eyes are the most common visual organs found in the animal kingdom, and have an evolutionary history that extends back at least 520 million years to the early Cambrian period.See also “Cambrian Predator Had Modern Eyes,” 7 Dec 2011.I’m Popeye the Darwin man;I fantasize germs to man.I fight to the finishTo ID diminish;I’m Popeye the Darwin man.If you are tired of watching Popeye cartoons with Darwin Party commercials, try educational TV. Watch David Rives and his series, “Creation in the 21st Century.” You’ll actually learn something.(Visited 607 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Crackdown to keep SA roads safe

first_imgTraffic police are out in numbers to crackviolations during the December holidays.(Image: Bongani Nkosi)MEDIA CONTACTS• Logan MaistrySpokespersonDepartment of Transport+27 83 6444 050Bongani NkosiTraffic officers have inspected more than 2-million vehicles on South Africa’s roads in the last two months, and they have a challenge to up their efforts throughout December 2010.The Department of Transport has resolved to stop and search no less than a million cars and drivers in a bid to curb traffic violations and carnage on the country’s roads this festive season.South Africa records about 16 000 deaths from car accidents each year, according to the department, with the holiday periods in December and over Easter claiming the greatest number of lives.Officers have therefore intensified operations as part of the Make Roads Safe campaign, which the department launched in November.Over the last two months officials have also issued more than 500 000 fines across the country for various traffic offences.“As we head towards the December holidays, traffic enforcement will be intensified and absolutely no mercy will be shown to road users who break the rules,” Minister of Transport S’bu Ndebele said in a statement issued recently.There’s a strong focus on drunk driving, which results in immediate arrest. More than 2 200 such offenders were arrested in October for driving while under the influence, the department said.Speedsters won’t be spared either. A KwaZulu-Natal man, 53-year-old Farouk Ebrahim Patel, was fined R20 000 (US$2 800) on 29 November for speeding at 197km/h in a 120km/h zone.Motorists who drive more than 30km/h above the limit within a residential area, or 40km/h above the limit on a freeway, face having their driving licences suspended for six months.Unroadworthy vehicles will be taken off the road as a precautionary measure.Traffic officers have been assigned to conduct unannounced blitzes to crack down on reckless drivers, said the department.“We call upon road users to ensure vehicle and driver fitness, drive with their head lamps on at all times, wear your seatbelts, do not drink and drive and adhere to the prescribed speed limits,” said Ndebele.“Pedestrians and cyclists must wear bright clothes at all times when using the roads.”The department has long identified fatigue as one of the root causes of accidents, and urges motorists to rest every 200km.Aarto delayPart of the department’s clampdown is the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) demerit system, which it hopes to introduce in the near future. It had planned to implement the system earlier in 2010, but opposition from different organisations has caused delays.Motorists will be suspended from driving for three months if they accumulate 12 demerits for breaking traffic rules, according to the Aarto regulations, which have been approved by parliament.If a motorist’s licence is suspended three times, he or she will be banned from driving indefinitely.Certain taxi drivers and the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union are heavily opposed to the system, as they fear it could result in job losses.The department has resolved to extend consultation with opposing bodies before implementing Aarto, which it believes will inspire responsible driving habits.last_img read more