Dear South Africans
We need to talk.
We seriously need to talk about our behaviour and driving on the road. I’ve been meaning to say something for a while now but I had faith in you – in us – I thought we could do better, I thought we’d change, that we would see the light. But alas. It’s still the same; some days are worse than other, some too bright, some too dark, and our attitude still reeks of arrogance, entitlement and a hint of multiple gaps in our education (and logic).
And no, I’m not JUST talking about the taxis now, I’m talking to all of you, all of us. No exceptions. Unfortunately we’ve all been guilty at some time or another and disobeyed a traffic law; it might not have been on purpose, but ja tannie, ja oom, ja people much younger than me, you know it happened.
Let’s get a few things straight okay? Okay.
- The right-hand lane. Let’s start with that. Have you ever seen that sign, ‘keep left, pass right’? Pssst. It is not an option for when you feel like it, it is not a suggestion, it is: KEEP LEFT PASS RIGHT. This is not about speeding, this is about rightfully using the right hand-lane to its full potential.
- Double lines… oh double lines, oh how we disrespect those double lines or any line for that matter. The lines on the road are not morse code, there is no hidden message, just interpret it as, solid line means NO when it comes to taking over another car. Solid lines are there for a reason, number one being ‘to lessen the chances of killing yourself or someone else’.
- And where do I start with the lights? If only one of your car lights is working, please for the love of all things bright, FIX IT! If you can’t fix it, don’t drive it, as simple as that because from a distance I don’t know if you are a car, a motorbike or a gigantic firefly. And I honestly hope for you to the latter because fireflies are not that common.
- Please be a bright spark and don’t blind me with your brights? Thanks. And if your lights only function as brights, how about you FIX IT? If you can’t fix it, don’t drive it.
- And those with spot lights or bar lights, you know those illegal lights (read about the rules and regulations of lights, here). What do the cars on the road look like to you? Springhares? No? Cool. If you’re driving somewhere on a farm, on a dirt road, with those blinding lights, great. If you are in town or on a national road, not so great, not great at all, no one has time for arc-eyes.
- Also, please drive with your lights on during the day in the case of low light situations like dusk, mist, glare or if you’re driving long distances. Studies have shown that “lights on” can improve the noticeability and detectability of vehicles in the central and peripheral fields of view.
- Patience people, patience. So what if you get to your destination 10 minutes or an hour later? An hour is nothing if you compare it to your life. Wait your turn, don’t take chances. Seriously, don’t take chances. And know – intimately know – the power of your car when overtaking another car.
- Yellow-lane avoiders. If you are a truck and you have that “no yellow lane driving” sticker on the back, I don’t like you but fine you may sit this one out, but the rest of the world, if you are driving much slower than the speed limit, and if there is enough space in the yellow lane and no dangers, blind rises or obstacles whatsoever, why in the name of frustration won’t you just be so kind and move a teensy tiny bit to the left. (PS. I also believe that if you are sticking to the speed limit, no car should push or force you into the yellow lane from behind).
- If you have a fast, new or shiny car that goes va-va-vroomm and not broommm you don’t have the right to behave like a kid with the newest toy, or if you are driving a big car, 4×4 or truck, you don’t have the right to behave like a kid with the biggest toy. Just be nice, courteous and not a poephol.
- Did I just see you throw a piece of paper out of your car window? Please, please, please tell me I’m wrong. Stop littering dammit. And yes, a cigarette butt out of the window is littering too. The road is not your trashcan.
- Please use your indicator. It is not a decoration. Okaythanksbye.
- What is happening on the roads during heavy rain? Are logic and common knowledge just being flushed down the drain?
- Cutting corners. Why? You have the whole other side of the road – your left side – to use, there’s no more left left of my side when you cut corners. Stop it.
- Moms. Dads. Grannies. Nannies. Use the car seat for the kid. It actually has a purpose, i.e to keep the kid as alive as possible.
- DON’T YOU DARE park in the disabled parking for convenience. Don’t you dare.
- Whether the parking lot is full or half full, just make your mother proud and stay in the lines of your parking space, please? It is not the time now to think out of the box.
- A traffic circle is not a four-way stop. Observe the whole circle but keep in mind that traffic coming from your right has right of way. Not rocket science, right? Also, it is called a circle or a ‘roundabout’ for a reason, we don’t just drive straight over it, we go around it.
- Talking about four-way stops, just pay attention to who stopped when when it comes to an actual four-way stop.
- And again, on the topic of four-way stops… no working traffic light? Ding, ding, ding, you’ve guessed correctly, implement a four-way stop.
- I’m not going to say anything about drinking and driving, we’re all grown-ups here right, maybe it is time to act like one. There is no exception. Uber. Walk. Stay home. Whatever. Don’t drink and drive.
- Same goes for texting.Stop being so selfish, don’t do it.
- Last, but not least… vapers, please feel free to smoke in your car but don’t be alarmed when a fire truck hoses you down. We are just concerned. Many of us have been in a situation where we thought you were in serious trouble because of all the smoke.
These points mentioned above are not a case of entitlement – maybe it is, we are all bit entitled when it comes to driving, aren’t we? But it is a matter or respecting other drivers and just obeying the rules of the road.
A split second can cause an accident; stop driving other people crazy, use your seconds wisely.
Do you want to improve your driving?
With Isuzu, you can! The Isuzu Driving Academy launched in 2011 with the aim to train drivers in the correct use of their vehicles and to help them improve their off-road driving and on-road driving skills. There is a one-day course tackling the introduction to off-road driving as well as a two-day advanced driving course, all taught by professional drivers and trained instructors. You can attend the course in one the academy’s fleet vehicles (the D-MAX bakkie or the mu-X), or you can do it in your own Isuzu vehicle. Contact Driving Dynamics for more information to book your seat!