I'LL GET YOU! We look at what's allowed and what not when filming a road rage incident. Image: iStock
Cape Town - Earlier in September, Wheels24 reported on a road rage incident in Gauteng posted on YouTube.
The video shows a heated altercation at an intersection between three drivers (two males, one which records the incident on a cellphone, and a female driver).
The video uploader can be heard saying that the female road user (red Fiat 500) was driving in the middle of the intersection. A third motorist arrives to defuse the situation.
The incident could've turned violent as the uploader had pepper spray prepared and even threatens one of the drivers featured in the clip.
The uploader's daughter can be heard saying: "What does that spray do?".
Watch the video below:
Your right to film
It's not clear what led to the road rage, though one of the drivers expresses her outrage at being filmed.
The uploader of the video, whom filmed the incident on a cellphone, insisted that he could film the altercation since they "were in a public space".
The clip begs the question: Are you (legally) allowed to film a road rage incident in SA?
We approached our friends at Arrive Alive for advice.
Wheels24: Are SA road users record allowed to record instances of road rage?
Arrive Alive: You can - there is nothing preventing this, but it should preferably be done via dashboard camera (dash-cam). Remember that if you are doing so while holding your phone and while your vehicle's engine is running, you are committing a traffic violation.
W24: Do you need permission to upload the video to social media?
Arrive Alive: You do not need permission. You will most probably have the defense that it is in public interest and that you are recording it for evidentiary purposes should the aggressor cause any damage.
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W24: Do these types of videos intrude on privacy?
Arrive Alive: Not if it's taking place in the public domain such as a public street. If you behave irresponsibly you should not blame someone for capturing your behaviour in public and sharing it on social platforms. The right to privacy when committing incidents of road rage should not be worthy of more protection than the right of the person capturing such a threat on camera.
Wheels24: What does the such law say with regards to filming and posting videos?
Arrive Alive: It comes down to your constitutional rights of freedom of expression, freedom of movement, and the right to freedom and security of the person. Keep in mind that if you threaten someone with bodily harm, it falls under the common law definition of the crime of assault. You cannot be charged when you capture evidence of such a threat.
10 point plan to avoid road rage
• Forget work or home worries, concentrate on driving.
• Plan your journey to reduce anxiety and stress.
• Adopt a positive mental attitude - to help with frustration.
• Listening to music can reduce stress.
• Don't try to change other drivers attitudes. You can't, but you can change your own.
• Be courteous and stay calm if provoked.
• Drive with your car doors locked and if you see trouble don't leave the safety of your vehicle.
• Count from 1-10 (it's old and it works!)
• Sounding your horn, flashing your lights or gesturing will only aggravate the situation.
• If you are a victim of aggression take the registration number and report incident to the police.
If you are faced with aggressive behaviour
• Stay calm.
• Avoid eye contact with the aggressive driver so as not to exacerbate the situation.
• Do not respond to provocative words or actions.
• Do not respond with disrespectful words or actions.
• Do what you can to avoid conflict.
If an aggressive person leaves his vehicle and heads toward you
• Remain in your vehicle, make sure the windows are shut and doors locked.
• Avoid arguing with the aggressive driver, looking at the person or making provocative gestures.
• Leave the area and go to a place where you can get help.
• Do not go home if the aggressive driver is following you.
• If the person wants to confront you, pick up your cellphone and show you are calling the Police.
• If the person doesn’t back off, honk your horn to attract the attention of other drivers.
• Note the make of the other driver’s car and his or her license plate.
Dashcam footage from the Arrive Alive website.