Do Gauteng motorists not even care anymore?
What is up with drivers on SA roads? Driving sense seems to be getting worse and worse by the day. I remember when I came here in 2009; it did not seem as bad as it is now. Of course the damn taxis were always terrible, constantly showing blatant disregard for any kind of law of the road. But nowadays it seems like nobody really gives a shit anymore.
I see people changing lanes without indicators, driving too fast on the road and tailgating other drivers, jumping their turn at a stop sign and numerous other offences. I regularly see people only indicating when they have to turn left or right somewhere and not while changing lanes. In which school did these people learn to drive??? I wonder. When it is a 120 kmph zone, most people are flying past at 150 or 160. When it is an 80 zone, people automatically seem to assume 100 and upwards. I even sometimes see people doing what appears to be close to 120 in a 60 kmph zone. That’s double the speed limit! What is the hurry? Where is everyone rushing off to? If one dug deeper, it would probably be a combination of poor time management and complete disregard for the rules.
And the police don’t seem to do anything to physically watch and catch speeding motorists. They would rather set up cameras and radar guns in 80 kmph zones to catch some poor unfortunate soul doing 85 and collect a fat fine from him or her. It is not really helping, because people who speed generally know where the cameras are and take their chances everywhere that they aren’t. The South African Police needs to wake up and start catching the real offenders. For instance, I have never once seen or heard of anybody being pulled up for changing lanes without indicating. Isn’t that an offence?? Doesn’t it deserve some form of punishment or fine? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not some goody two-shoes here out to get everyone else. But honestly, how hard is it to just follow the rules, indicate when needed, keep a safe following distance, be courteous to the fellow drivers, wear seat belts and so on? And speaking of safety belts, I personally know people who avoid wearing seat belts until either the car alarm bugs the heck out of them or the co-passenger (such as me) says something. Why?? What are you trying to prove? Who are you trying to impress?? Just wear the damn seat belt! It should come as a natural instinctive motion, shouldn’t it?… like brushing one’s teeth. But sadly it doesn’t. No wonder that the road accident death toll over the festive season in December went close to 1500.
A few weeks back I was on the road with my wife somewhere north of Pretoria and this punk-looking guy with a mohawk in a bright yellow convertible cut in front of me very closely from behind. So I immediately honked. Imagine our surprise to see the guy go totally ballistic, flipping us off with his middle finger and even slowing down as if to suggest stopping by the side of the road to have a one on one. People really need to learn to respect fellow drivers on the roads. I hope the whole ‘Lead SA’ initiative has some kind of effect on this growing problem.