I am taking antibiotics, and so is Ulysse. He is back after spending 3 days in the vet's clinic having been hit by a car. His jaw was split in two and he had to undergo an emergency operation to wire it back together.
What with X-rays, the operation, care and medicine he's just become a very expensive cat, and hopefully he'll take to looking both ways before he crosses the road.
Mind you, if you read Bernard Durand's book 'Il était une joie', you'll realise that it's not necessarily the pedestrians or scooter riders who should be looking both ways, but those selfish drivers who believe the road belongs to them and them alone. The month Bernard's son was killed, or assassinated as he puts it, there was a total 41 deaths on the road in Hérault. That was August 2001. Next door in the Pyrenees Orientales, there were just 4, yet it's a similar region with lots of tourists at that time of year.
Forty-one grieving families in just one month. That year in France there were 7720 deaths on the road, and this figure finally came down to less than 5000 only in 2005.
France is a country of individualists. They are proud to be so, but this individualism translates into selfish egotism on the road. Since the introduction of radars, driver behaviour has been modified with regard to speed. There are 1200 radars on the roads of France, and last year a total of 8 million points were docked from driving licences. I read today in 'Herault' magazine that the Region charges the State 10,000€ rent on each radar, legally. No wonder they are finely tuned!
Speed is only one factor; alcohol is another, equally lethal. In the UK, police would wait outside pubs and clubs and test everyone getting into a car. I've never seen such a policy here in France. Maybe the police are controlling more, but if they are, they are being very discreet about it. The Government is trying to encourage the Designated Driver system, the "capitaine de soirée" among groups of young people. Considering that they represent over 27% of road deaths, it's about time that the Government addressed this section of the population.
I don't understand why France has been so tardy in tackling road deaths. Personal freedoms are all very well, but when they interfere with the freedoms of others (such as the freedom to live), a sensible approach has to be taken even if it seems to insult most of the population.
Vehicles are dangerous and should be treated with precaution, by sober, sedate drivers. Boring maybe, but if Jérémie Durand's killer had been sober and sedate, Jérémie would now be 23.