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Tourist’s Guide to SA Driving

08 December 2011, 13:00

Lanes, Speeding and Traffic Congestion

If you are driving slower than the speed limit the tradition is to keep right and pass left like on would normally do in America.  If the right hand lane is full stick to the one just left of it to box those maniacs in that have the audacity to travel at the speed limit.

 

Speed Signs

Those signs with the numbers on it indicate the speed one must avoid at all cost.  You can go much faster or much slower but never ever travel at the speed limit.

 

Speed Cameras and Speeding

It is seldom possible to spot a speed camera even though they are more common than flies picnicking on a dog’s morning movement but if you do spot one, hit the brakes as hard as possible even if vehicles behind you rear into each other.  The idea is to reach a speed at least 40 km/h below the speed limit to show your respect for the law.

 

Pedestrians and Pedestrian crossings

A pedestrian crossing is like a shooting range, the idea is to try hitting a pedestrian.  The probability of success is directly related to the colour shade of the traffic light.  Mercedes is the best car for this job because it comes fully equipped with sights on the bonnet.

 

Broken Traffic Lights

Broken traffic lights are a common sight in South Africa.  Don’t bother using the light as a four way stop.  Nobody does and if you do you are likely to be rear ended.  Stay safe and run it.

 

Indicators and Hazards

Indicators are never used in South Africa but if you want to indicate your intentions use your vehicle’s hazard lights.  This is a generic indicator used to indicate anything a driver might want to do like a left turn, a right turn, a u-turn or even a three-point turn.  It is even used to indicate that the driver is going to execute an amazingly stupid and dangerous maneuver.

 

Stop Signs

Stop signs do not signal that you need to stop at the crossing but rather at the speed bump 500 meters after the stop sign.  Nobody knows why but that is how it’s done.

 

Road Signs

Road signs have got nothing to do with traffic.  It was installed as a cheap bill board for those animal lovers that do not quite love their animals as much as the like to believe.

 

Headlights

Never switch your headlights on in rainy or foggy weather.  It is a tool used similar to a hooter.  If you don’t like what someone else does flash him if you don’t to hoot.

 

3D Interactive Gaming and Cyclists

Cyclists bring 3D interactive reality gaming into the art of peak time driving.  The idea is to run them over.  The more victories you score by the time you reach your destination the more points you score.

 

Motorcycling and 3D Interactive Gaming

Motorcycling in South Africa is another form of 3D interactive reality gaming where the objective is to travel at the maximum possible speed the vehicle can produce, while snaking through traffic without hitting anything.  If you don’t hit anything you score maximum points however if you do hit something, well ...  At least some child with kidney failure will be very thankful.

 

City Traveling

City traveling also has some traditions. The left hand lane is used as a double parking space provided the driver uses his hazards.  The right hand lane is also used as a double parking space.  In actual fact all lanes can be used as a double, triple or even quadruple parking space but remember just use you hazards when parked.

 

Taxi Stops and Parks

Any intersection is reserved as a taxi stop or park.  If a taxi obstructs an intersection don’t bother to hoot because the taxi driver will think you are another taxi trying to get customers.

 

Wet Weather

If the weather is wet the tradition in South Africa is to see how slow one can move without actually stopping. If you can get your speed down to Sunday evening amble you have succeeded.

 

Dirking and Driving, Speeding and the Law

Basically motorists can do whatever they please whenever they please however there is one thing you do not do and that is drink and drive.  Well you can drink and drive but don’t be caught because that will result in a criminal record. 

 

Traffic Business

The traffic department in South Africa is managed like a business.  The most money for the least effort can be made during the festive seasons like any other business.  We only have two festive seasons and that is Easter and Christmas.  During the festive seasons the cops are as active as rodents after winter hibernation.  Between the festive seasons cops return to mostly a cybernetic state.  So if you are going to speed or are going to drink and drive do it between the festive seasons not during the festive seasons. 

Drag Racing

South Africa is very proud of its drag racing tradition.  In South Africa you will most definitely get the opportunity to witness a drag race.  These races usually take place between two or more overloaded non roadworthy trucks creeping up a hill next to each other.  You, the admirer will be stuck in a long queue of vehicles impatiently waiting for an opportunity to get pass the spectacle.

 Drag racing has even improved since the highways in and around Jo’burg has been upgraded.  Up to five overloaded non roadworthy trucks can now take part in a single race.

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