Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Layman's Guide to Driving in South Africa

I am marring my agility blog with a completely non-dog related post, but right now I need to vent!!!

I am not even going to get started on the taxi's, I could write a book about the taxi's, but for Joe Soap on the South African roads, here are a few guidelines:

1.  'Keep Left, Pass Right' is actually a rule of the road, hence if you are not actually, physically passing a car in the immediate vicinity, what the hell are you doing in the right hand lane?  Signs that you are violating this rule may include:  flashing lights, hooting, multiple cars passing you on the left, dirty looks, a 'luxury German sedan' sitting on your ass and many more.

2.  When, in peak traffic, all cars suddenly part leaving a nice open space in the middle, it is for the big red van with the flashing lights and annoying siren, not for you.  You are not Moses.

3.  Mind reading is not a standard feature in my car, the only way for me to know that you are going to turn, is if you use your indicator.  You know that switchy thingy on the left or right side of the steering wheel (depending on make and model of your vehicle), that makes the arrow on the dashboard flash all pretty and green.

4.  If there is a queue in the turning lane, you do not have the right to push in right at the front.  You are NOT relieving traffic by shortening the queue, you are making it worse.  You live in South Africa, you are bound to spend at least 43% of your life in a queue, get used to it.

5.  When swerving, being it for a pothole, dog, a spring buck, an intersection vendor, a goat or a taxi it is advisable (if at all possible) to swerve AWAY from the other cars, not towards the middle of the road.

6.  In a single line, with a solid white line in the middle, it really doesn't matter how badly you sit on my ass, I have nowhere to move TO.  You might just as well back off and do the whole thing called 'following distance'.

7.  When your headlights are set to the bright setting they are... well just that, BRIGHT.  Not meant for use on eyeballs and mirrors.

8.  Highways were designed with off-ramps instead of intersections for many reasons, but of them being that there is no need for you to slam on breaks while you are still ON the highway, but gradually reduce speed on the actual off-ramp.

9.  Driving in one lane (lane being the space in BETWEEN the lines) is not negotiable.  If you want to straddle something, get a room.

10.  When moving into the right hand lane to pass a vehicle, you are expected to match the speed of the vehicles already in that lane (most probably passing you).  Next time I am NOT going to slam on my breaks and just hope that my insurance covers your stupidity.

**Note:  Driving a 'luxury German sedan', a sports car or a Hummer, does NOT exempt you from the above.  It just means your repairs will be much more expensive than mine.

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