Precautions to take when you're out on the road during lockdown

An empty street in Durbanville, Cape Town. Image: Jacques Stander/Gallo Images via Getty Images
An empty street in Durbanville, Cape Town. Image: Jacques Stander/Gallo Images via Getty Images
Jacques Stander/Gallo Images via Getty Images

Citizens are allowed to use their vehicles during lockdown, but are limited to going to the grocery store, pharmacy or to access essential services. 

The majority of the population is at home to cut interaction and assist in decreasing the number of Covid-19 cases, the illness caused by the coronavirus. 

Law enforcement are out on the roads, setting up roadblocks to make sure citizens are abiding by the rules set out by the government. 

Defensive driving still applies

But what can motorists expect when they venture out to buy food supplies or collect medication? MasterDrive's Eugene Herbert sheds light on how to drive responsibly during this period. 

The managing director of MasterDrive says that while one may assume their drive will be quiet and uneventful during this time, there are some things to be cautious of.

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Herbert says: "The first is that the roads are not completely quiet. Public transport is operating between certain hours in the mornings and afternoons. There are also more private car owners on the road than expected, for various reasons. You can expect more of an early Sunday morning scenario than empty open roads.

"Consequently, if you are about to head out remember to continue driving defensively and keep an eye out for drivers who may think the lockdown will create an opportunity for them to test the limits of their vehicles or just drive recklessly without consequence." 

There are some other things to keep in mind. Herbert further notes: "As there are less vehicles on the road, debris that would normally have been knocked off the roads by cars continuously passing by, is now likely still there. This is mostly leaves as winter approaches but there can be more damaging debris as well. Pay more attention to the debris on the road and avoid driving through collected leaves that could be hiding more harmful items."


Image: News24

Encountering a roadblock

Herbert says: "You are also likely to encounter a lockdown roadblock. While it is already a law, be sure to have your driving license on you. Provide the law enforcement officials with the information that they request whether it is a permit or explanation as to why you are out. These individuals are working diligently to flatten the curve so let’s do what we can to assist." 

Ultimately, stay at home and only leave when absolutely necessary. "When you do leave, do not be tempted to break the law or drive recklessly. If a crash were to occur, despite all the other challenges this creates, even more pressure will be placed on emergency and healthcare workers which the country cannot expend right now", Herbert adds.

He concludes: "Watch out for drivers that are taking unnecessary risks or for debris in the road. Listen to law enforcement and do not become another challenge for them. Lastly, stay safe and healthy during this time so that we can all return to our normal lives as soon as possible."


Image: News24

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