Roads are a law­less night­mare

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

DRIV­ING in the Joburg CBD is a night­mare.There is com­plete lack of re­spect for traf­fic rules by nor­mal mo­torists, taxi driv­ers and pedes­tri­ans.

Daily I wit­ness lit­er­ally hun­dreds of trans­gres­sions. There are few Joburg metro po­lice depart­ment of­fi­cers around and, if they are there, they do noth­ing about en­forc­ing the law and is­su­ing fines.

Mo­torists, es­pe­cially taxi driv­ers, drive right through red traf­fic lights. It’s so bad that I now slow down at green robots.

On a daily ba­sis I get hooted at for stop­ping at red lights, for al­low­ing pedes­tri­ans to cross when the lights are in their favour and for stop­ping at a green light to avoid block­ing an in­ter­sec­tion.

Pedes­tri­ans too are a night­mare, cross­ing wher­ever they want to. I would be in­ter­ested in know­ing how many jay­walk­ing fines have been is­sued.

I was in Ger­many about two years ago on a me­dia trip with other South African jour­nal­ists. With­out think­ing, we crossed a road when the pedes­trian lights were red.

A woman shouted that we were set­ting a very bad ex­am­ple for chil­dren. She was right.

I re­mem­ber the days when jay­walk­ing in Joburg was a pun­ish­able of­fence and car­ried a fine. I also re­mem­ber get­ting a fine be­cause my front tyres were a cou­ple of cen­time­tres over the white lines at an in­ter­sec­tion.

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