Horror crash kills 4 in Gauteng: Why are drivers skipping lights in SA?

<B>RECKLESS DRIVING:</B> When approaching a stop sign or traffic light, be vigilant for reckless drivers endangering fellow road users. <I>Image: YouTube</I>
<B>RECKLESS DRIVING:</B> When approaching a stop sign or traffic light, be vigilant for reckless drivers endangering fellow road users. <I>Image: YouTube</I>

Bronkhorstspruit - The driver of a Volkswagen Golf 6 and a delivery van collided in a horror crash in Bronkhorstspruit, near Pretoria.

News24 reports that the vehicles collided after skipping traffic lights.

The grim crash was captured via the dash-cam of a nearby armed response vehicle.

Irresponsible driving

Four people were travelling in the taxi, with only the driver and a passenger surviving. The other two, a couple, sadly met their demise in the blaze. One passenger from the Golf was flung from the vehicle and was declared dead on the scene.

Jacobus Janse van Rensburg, operations manager at Golf Echo Response, told News24: "One of our supervisor vehicles was parked at a red light when the incident unfolded. As you can see in the video, the oncoming Golf sped through the intersection when the traffic light was still red, while the minibus van coming from the right was also partly to blame, crossing the intersection when the light was amber. 

"Three people died on the scene. Emergency services responded quickly after our control room reported the accident."

Read the full article on News24 here.

Johan Jonck from Arrive Alive comments: "The vehicle heading towards the camera seems to be driving at high speed towards the intersection where the traffic light is clearly red and there appears to be no intention to slow down. The vehicle driving from right to left is appearing to drive over the intersection while the traffic light is amber [orange/yellow].

"We always warn road users to be alert to others not obeying the Rules of the road and approach intersections with extreme caution.

Do you have any questions/comments regarding stop signs and/or traffic lights in SA? Email us or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter.

Poll results

Wheels24 asked its readers whether they skipped red traffic lights and a homepage poll garnered more than 16 000 responses.

Poll results: 16 635

  • Yes but only late at night 7836 votes
  • Only if I'm driving too fast 509 votes
  • Never it's too dangerous 7638 votes
  • Sometimes if I'm in a rush 652 votes

Thousands of readers (7638) said they NEVER skip red traffic lights, but 7836 admitted that they would do so only late at night. 

Arrive Alive lists the following advice for approaching intersections:

  • Drive defensively, anticipating problems and situations with heightened caution and attention during congested traffic times such as rush hour. 
  • Be patient - Impatience increases emotions and decreases attention. 
  • Think about what other drivers might do as you approach intersections, particularly when you are altering your path approaching an intersection. 
  • Avoid all driver distractions - all your focus is required when approaching an intersection. 
  • Always, always wear your seatbelt and insist that everyone in your vehicle wears theirs. 
  • A passenger not buckled in will become a projectile threatening the safety of other passengers in a collision. 
  • Do not speed at intersections - a driver driving too fast when approaching a crossing, may not be able to completely stop when necessary.

For more helpful tips from Arrive Alive click here.

Image: Arrive Alive

Do you have any questions/comments regarding stop signs and traffic lights in SA? Email us or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter.

Expert opinion

Wheels24 spoke to Western Cape emergency services spokesperson, Robert Daniels, to shed light on the dangers of skipping traffic lights.

Daniels said: "80 to 90% of the time it is alcohol-related, it is people just being careless and reckless on our roads. People not thinking of the next person."

Daniel said that while it's against the law to skip a red light he understands that, given the violence on SA's roads, in certain situations it's appropriate to avoid putting yourself in danger.

When asked if there is an appropriate time to skip a red light, Daniels said: "In the course of the day, during normal traffic and normal circumstances - then no.

"There is of course the situation where you life might be in danger. If you see someone approaching your vehicle, by all means go.

"If you feel unsafe and your life is in danger, I can't tell you to stop at the red light. It boils down to common sense and if you see you are going to endanger others with your action... don't.

"But if you are going to avoid dangerous situations by skipping a red light, I'm not going to tell you don't."

Readers respond

Courtz: In Durban I jumped a robot... actually two and they were about 25m apart. Not by choice, but I was going at 60km/h. The first one went orange halfway but the second one was timed like that as well. Well I never stopped at the second one. Got pulled over and he said R5 000 for both. I said no ways, maybe the second robot but not the first.

I got a fine of R2 500 if payable in 30 days I will get a 50% discount. We departed and the next thing two taxis jumped the next robot. He did not even bother chasing them. I blew my hooter at him and he just ignored me. But I paid... lots of beer bread and milk money that.

Vincent: We all cheat the road rules whether taxi driver or not. Stop complaining this is South Africa.

Marc Anthony Webb: Plainly put those meant to enforce are not doing their jobs their main interest is money collection and intimidation of law abiding motorists(cash cows)... We now have every idiot doing what the taxi's do daily and this is becoming a major problem...

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
Who do you feel was at fault for Verstappen and Hamilton's Italian GP crash?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
25% - 951 votes
41% - 1573 votes
They were both at fault
34% - 1320 votes