10 Commandments of Road Safety

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I just got back from a trip and covered over 2000 km during the last 12 days and I’m always stunned to see how many times people take stupid chances on the road, how many fools (oops, I mean people) type on their phones while driving and how many cars have faulty lights.

It reminded me of an article I wrote for Traveller24 during the festive season 2016. Here goes:

I always wonder what happens to sense of logic, common decency and manners when humans get behind the wheel; especially when the road conditions are at its worst because during rainy weather or peak season all the factors that form part of the integral components of the science of thought just flies out of the window at the speed of a traffic fine.

road safety

Our roads are filled with a variety of drivers; from selfish fools, to incompetent risk-takers, to rude idiots and Grand Prix rookies.

If I just go a bit faster, I might make it in time. I will only go around the corner, do I really need to buckle up? If I overtake this truck everything will be better.

There’s a hint of selfishness in every driver as the goal of the destination often overwhelms the journey and the massive responsibility we all have on the road to not only look out for ourselves but also for others.

We gasp at close calls, miss that vehicle in our blind spot and take chances.

But at what risk?

Fortunately, there is an easy way to avoid it all; everyone just needs to adhere to the rules of the road and just not be a poephol.

Unfortunately, a lot of road-users absolutely suck at sticking to the rules and there are a few poepholle.

The 10 Commandments of Road Safety.

1. Thee shalt not gaze at thy phone.

You’re not fooling anyone if you are staring at your crotch with a smile. Keep your eyes off your damn phone when you are driving! If you are using your phone while driving you deserve a massive punch in the throat.

This is something I feel very strongly about; you simply can’t justify being on your phone while driving. NOTHING IS THAT IMPORTANT THAT IT NEEDS TO BE ANSWERED NOW. If it wasn’t important in 2005, it certainly is not important in 2018. JUST STOP IT. I wrote something more about this matter – also for Traveller24 – click here to read

2. Thee shalt not throweth trash out of the window.

Are you on your way to a ‘binless’ planet? A planet where there is no trash and trash cans? No, you are not. So stop throwing your shit out of the car and just keep it till your next stop to dispose it properly. Regardless of the fact that you are adding to the pollution problem, people have swerved, make way and caused accidents for oncoming trash.

3. Thee shalt not – nev’r – drive intoxicated.

Do not even begin to argue. Do not even touch that key if you are over the limit, even if you are just slightly over the limited. Uber. Call a taxi. Get a lift with a friend. Walk it off. Dammit people, if you want to do adult things, then act like one.

4. Thee shalt not taketh chances.

There is a blind curve in front of you, there is a hill, there is line prohibiting you from overtaking the car in front of you. But do people listen? No! If you think you are Superman or Tarzan go swing in a tree. Don’t take chances. 

5. Thee shalt buckle up thy kids.

Parents, parents, parents. We all get it, kids want to sit on your lap but that’s recklessly stupid and if you allow it then you are recklessly stupid. Yes you. Buckle and secure your kid in his or her seat. Hand out lollipops or whatever to keep them happy, but your lap is not a place for a kid in a moving car.

6. Thee shalt not drive on thy brights.

Stop blinding other drivers with your brights. 

7. Thee shalt not drive with one light or with faulty lights.

What are you? A motorbike? A fast bicycle? A firefly with a really big bum? Who knows when only one light is working. Make sure both lights are in order when you get on the road. Please. Thank you. Goodbye.

8. Thee shalt adhere to the speed limit.

Speed limits are actually there for a reason. Heaven knows why people think it doesn’t apply to them. Also, people with fancy cars, just keep in mind that even though your speed-o-meter goes up to 260 km/h, the speed limit applies to you as well. Stop showing off and stop bullying people off the road. No one is impressed. Also, sticking to the speed limit (and just a bit below it on the long road) will actually benefit your fuel consumption wallet (more tips here).

9. Thee shalt keepeth thy distance.

If I can’t read your license plate number in my rear view mirror then you are too close. If you are driving 80km/h and 8 cars can’t fit in the distance between me and you, please tell me, what will happen if I have to stop suddenly? Will your car’s bonnet meet my car’s boot? 

10. Thee shalt practice thy patience.

Trucks are the best way to practice your patience; if they can’t go faster, they can’t help it. Be patient if you can’t pass a truck and wait until you know it is safe. Patience can be a life-saver.

During the last few days I had to make two trips to Mossel Bay – the first one via the N2 and the second one via the Langkloof. If you are familiar with the Knysna to Plettenberg Bay section of the N2 you’ll know that it is extremely difficult to stick to speed limit of 60 km/h. Here’s a tip: Just find a truck and stay behind that truck for that section. I realised last week that staying behind a truck makes it so much easier for the sake of your patience.

Okay good. Glad I got that all off my chest.

Drive safe.

And remember, don’t be a poephol.

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