How many deaths will it take?

So, if you read the news coming out of this part of the world, you probably know that a horrible tragedy occurred in Marganets, Eastern Ukraine.

I follow RIA Novosti on Twitter, and one of the first things I saw in my Twitter feed when I logged in yesterday was a link to a photo stream directly from the scene from the crash. Even though the photographers kept some manner of a distance, the one thing that immediately jumped out at me was the blood on the face of one of the as-of-yet uncovered crash victims. It struck me not because the image was gruesome (we’ve all seen worse), but because I realized that this is the price we are all collectively paying for disregarding safety on the roads.

President Yanukovich has ordered a check of all private transport carriers following this disaster. It’s a good move, but what freaks me out is that it took a horrific event of this magnitude for this to finally happen. Anyone who has lived in Ukraine for a reasonable period of time knows that all manner of private transport is not safe or reliable. You wind up joking about it all the time. “Death on wheels.” Ha ha ha. Yet these businesses have blithely carried on, and millions of people have had no choice when it comes to being their passengers (I mean, don’t get me started on public transport in Ukraine following the murder not “suicide” –  of transport minister Georgy Kirpa. You know, I think a whole lot of people miss Kirpa. I’m glad that in my parents’ neighbourhood in Kiev, there’s a street named after him – so that people remember. I love it how the press chides him for having been a supporter of Yanukovich. Oh noes. Oh dear. Oh my. There have been dark times in Ukraine, and these dark times continue, but Kirpa had done some genuine good in this world and I bet that someone Up There has taken note of that).

I’m not one of those people who thinks that every tragedy that happens everywhere is wholly preventable. I’m one of those irrational religious chicks, after all. But when it comes to what happened in broad daylight in Marganets, I just don’t know.

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