Dear South African drivers

I’ve noticed recently that there is some genuine confusion around the whole concept of driving.  What is it? What should you do? What shouldn’t you do? How should you do it? When should you do it?

So I’ve decided to set up a bit of a ‘Ruby’s tips to drivers’ list to guide you through the very basics.  Please, for the love of apple pie, USE IT!

1.  Driving is much the same as colouring in.  If you’re not purposefully changing lanes you need to stay in-between the lines

2.  Should you decide to change lanes, whether it be on the highway or while passing a slower moving vehicle, ALWAYS check your blind spot.

3.  If you’re the one screwing up and someone hoots…don’t be an ass and flip them the bird or shake your fist at them.  You’ve already acted like an idiot, a disarming gesture will be of better use.

4.  If someone gives you a gap.  Don’t, for the love of all things nice, take 5 minutes to take it or become all flustered.  Just GO GO GO.

5.  If the car in front of me is driving slowly, driving on my ass will NOT solve the problem.

6.  If I’m driving the speed limit or slightly over there is absolutely NO reason for you to be driving on my ass.  I have no obligation to move over to the slow lane if I’m keeping to the speed limit.  In fact, driving on my ass will probably ONLY cause me to slow down a little, or strategically make me hit the brakes for a milli- second to make you back off.

7.  That being said…if you’re not keeping up to the speed limit you have NO business driving in the fast lane of the highway and probably deserve someone driving on your ass…move over!

8.  Now, the cute little sign below shows you where your indicators are.  If you’re going to turn or change lanes…use them to INDICATE where you’re going.  It’s amazing how much less stressful driving becomes when all the people around you aren’t shouting at you for not indicating.

9.  If your lane is the one ending and you have to move into another lane…YOU DO NOT HAVE RIGHT OF WAY. The guy in the lane you’re moving to does.  So if there isn’t enough space you need to wait your turn.

10.  Aaaah….the infamous traffic circle.  People, it’s not that hard.  A circle is NOT a four-way stop.  In a circle you yield to the right.  This means that if the person on your right went over his yield line before you did you have to wait for him.  If you guys reach your lines at the same time and bearing in mind that you should BOTH be traveling at the speed limit, you should technically both be able to enter at the same time.  And for crying out loud…it is impossible to signal right in a traffic circle…if you do that means you have every intention of turning into the circle and causing severe damage to your car.  You have to exit the circle to you left and will therefore indicate to your left as you near your exit.

11.  A solid line on a two-way road means you are not allowed to pass as it is dangerous to do so.

12.  If you are driving on a truck’s ass the driver can not see you…not with all the blind spot and mirror checking in the world.

13.  Just because you drive a stupidly expensive car does not mean you own the road and everybody needs to get out of your way.

14.  Parents of little children –> I don’t care if your child is screaming blue murder because he/she hates sitting in the safety seat.  YOU are the parent.  Strap your child in.  It is incredibly dangerous to let a child stand on the back seat/front seat/sit on your lap/move around freely in the car.  If you love your child you will strap him/her in.  My first thought when seeing an unstrapped child in a car is –> you should be charged for negligence and put in jail.

15.  My safe little following distance is not an invitation for you to shove your big ass car right in front of me.  If I wanted to give you a gap it would be clearly visible.

16.  If someone clearly gives you a gap/helps you out of a jam/ moves slightly over the yellow line to let you pass more easily thank them.  You’d be surprise what a difference it makes.

17.  Do not even get me started on a set of rules for SA minibus taxi drivers.  I’ll be busy for the rest of my life and STILL not finish.

So my lovelies, there you have it.  Ruby’s list of helpful tips for South African drivers.  Please feel free to add any others you can think of:)




13 thoughts on “Dear South African drivers

  1. Just a comment on your traffic circle .. stop it certainly is not, more like an invitation to see just how fast you can go around and still stay on 4 wheels (bonus if you manage to exit on only 2) .. that is, ignore the pretty little triangular signs (yield not being in the SA driver’s vocabulary)

  2. ” Just because you drive a stupidly expensive car does not mean you own the road and everybody needs to get out of your way.”

    – I get this en route to work all.the.time. Hence all my rants about them drivers.

    Co-signed and agreed.

  3. Awesome rules, Ruby!

    Totally agree, I spend too much time on the highway between Pta and Jhb and a little courtesy always goes a long way.

  4. Number 10 is my ultimate pet peeve. I think we are the only two people in the province who understand how a traffic circle works!

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