Time to show “goodwill to all men” on the roads

By Drum Digital
13 December 2016

By Salome Tsoka

Motorists need to exercise caution and keep a cool head this festive season, especially when dealing with difficult motorists.

A Port Elizabeth road rage incident was captured on video recently and was posted on YouTube.

The incident begins as a simple altercation incident between two men at a traffic light in Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth.

A woman tries to intervene and calls for calm by asking both men to return to their own vehicles. Both the men and the woman head off in different directions.

It seems the incident is resolved until we see the woman and one of the men go in the same direction as the other man. The video footage gets shaky and the next thing we see is a battle between two different men against one of the men previously shown.

The fight escalates and is joined by more people, including the woman who tried to resolve the situation earlier. The fight is eventually broken up and all the subjects in the video head off in different directions.

It is unclear what started the incident or the identities of the people in the video.

In April, a road rage incident between a taxi driver and a motorist became violent when the taxi driver was attacked by a motorist who later fled the scene.

In October, a Mitsubishi Pajero driver repeatedly stabbed the rear door of a BMW with a knife in a Gauteng road rage incident.

In November, businessman Sibusiso Mpisane’s bodyguards attacked a driver of a white Toyota Corolla at Umhlanga Rocks Drive in Durban.

DRUM spoke to Arrive Alive’s Johan Jonck and he says that road rage incidents stem from impatient and aggressive driver behaviour.

“Driving in heavy traffic requires a lot more patience. People are agitated when they cannot easily overtake and tend to either take risks or get agitated by their fellow road users,” he says.

He advises motorists to follow their 10-point plan which works.

10-Point plant to avoid road rage

  1. Forget work or home worries, concentrate on driving.
  2. Plan your journey to reduce anxiety and stress.
  3. Adopt a positive mental attitude - to help with frustration.
  4. Play music, this can reduce stress.
  5. Don't try to change other drivers’ attitudes; you can only change your own.
  6. Be courteous and stay calm if provoked.
  7. Drive with your car doors locked and if you see trouble don’t leave the safety of your vehicle.
  8. Count from 1-10 (it’s an old trick but it works!)
  9. Don’t retaliate by sounding your hooter, flashing your lights or gesturing, this will only aggravate the situation.
  10. If you are a victim of aggression take the registration number and report the incident to the police.

“Remember that conflict can only continue with participation. Try to avoid the conflict – always remember that the person who may have inconvenienced you may have made a mistake and not have had the intention to do so . . . Breathe . . . focus on safety,” Jonck advises.

JMPD spokesperson, Edna Mamonyane says their department cannot protect motorists from all road rage incidents.

“We are asking people to know that it’s not worth it to be arguing and showing middle fingers to other motorists. Sometimes, it’s better to just let it go,” she says.

“Passengers should also not add fuel to the fire by prompting the drivers to fight each other,” she says.

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