'Learn to spot dangerous drivers'

2010-10-18 12:06

Cape Town - Motorists should learn to identify drunk and dangerous drivers who are increasingly becoming major threats on SA's roads, the Automobile Association said on Monday.

"It is important for road users to be constantly aware of the environment around them all the time while they are driving," spokesman Gary Ronald said in a statement.

"They should learn to spot dangerous drivers and keep clear of them. No matter how severely you may be provoked, resist the temptation to retaliate, which may result in anything from a collision to a shooting match."

Transport month

As part of transport month and to curb road fatalities, especially ahead of the festive season holidays, Ronald urged motorists to be especially wary when driving near any of the following:

* Any vehicle in which the driver's range of vision is limited, like a fully-laden truck with no side mirror.

* A vehicle that "wanders" about the road. This could be due to faulty steering, suspension or the driver may be drunk or sleepy.

* Any vehicle that is dirty, rusty, missing parts or with a badly smoking exhaust. It is probably in poor overall mechanical condition.

* A truck with a badly-packed or unsecured load, or a car with a bulky load on the roof rack. The load, or part of it, may come adrift.

* A car containing active children and pets. The driver may not be concentrating on the road.

* A vehicle with a driver who does not appear to be giving his full attention to the road.

"Remember, if you cannot see the mirrors of the vehicle in front of you, that driver can't see you," said Ronald.

Road accidents cost the economy an estimated R116 billion in 2009.


  • JB - 2010-10-18 16:28

    What is the number to report a vehicle /driver under these conditions on the road?

  • LongTimeBiker - 2010-10-18 16:46

    ""Remember, if you cannot see the mirrors of the vehicle in front of you, that driver can't see you," said Ronald." my goodness, while i support the idea of empowering people this statement is idiotic ! mirrows are SMALL. a vehicle is big, you can see a car almost a kilo away, you cant see its mirrors. the bottom line is you have to drive for every single other vehicle on the road. expect the other driver to always do the worst. so when it does happen you were already expecting it. ask any long time biker and they will say the same

  • DrunkDriver101 - 2010-10-18 16:55

    Thanks for the useless tips AA..."* A vehicle with a driver who does not appear to be giving his full attention to the road." How the @#$% will is see another driver not paying attention on the road without me not paying attention on the road?

  • Anon.Y.Mous - 2010-10-18 16:55

    Experienced this on Saturday night on the N1 between 14th Ave & Beyers Naude. A silver Daihutsu wandering through lanes and almost knocked a Citi Golf in the lane next to him. At one instance, he veered from the fast lane across 3 lanes and then back to the fas lane. Could have been a serious accident involving multiple cars because of the idiocy of a single driver !!

  • Biker - 2010-10-18 20:48

    As a bike rider, you develop a 6th sense about 'dangerous' driving. You learn to anticipate events before they happen, and react accordingly. Unfortunately, there are few bad bikers out there who disregard the rules of the road and create a bad image for bikers, but there are a lot more dangerous drivers that make matters far worse. Respect and THINK!

  • Sean - 2010-10-19 06:02

    Well that is kind of hard as bad drivers make up 90% of road users. Every one in this country are always in a perpetual rush and will take themselves and any one else out just to get in the front. My conclusion is that the bigger the car the bigger the idiot behind the wheel

  • Angie - 2010-10-19 06:49

    The worst drivers are by far the Durban drivers. They are rude, have no consideration for other road users and definitely do not know the rules. At a circle, they will cut across and do not know that vehicles coming from the right have right of way. A flashing robot to them means lets see who gets to the other w]side first and how many cars can we block. Durban drivers are a nightmare

  • CareFul Driver - 2010-10-19 07:32

    Fair enough, we should all be alert drivers, but we all know that if we avoided all of the above, then we'd have to just stay at home! It's shocking what people get away with on our roads. You should add Taxis to that list, no matter where you are. In a matter of 3 days, I drove past 3 Taxi accidents on seperate occassions where Ambulances and Firetrucks were on the scene...with blood and bodies everywhere...all on the same stretch of road...yet no visible policing of any kind has been enforced to date.

  • Sam - 2010-10-19 08:35

    texting and speaking on your phone is the worst possible thing and causes tons of accidents. You might as well be having your finger on the trigger of a loaded gun. TEXTTERS SHOULD BE LOCKED UP

  • Graps - 2010-10-19 08:52

    @LongTimeBiker - Being a long time biker of more than 35 years myself I'm disappointed in your negative comments. All the writer is saying is if you can see the vehicles mirrors the driver can see you. You really don't have to be concerned about a vehicle a kilo away changing lanes now do you. Unless you are on of the bikes who need to see how fast your bike is every time you ride!!!

  • Lyn - 2010-10-19 10:38

    ALL cell phone users are just as bad as the taxi drivers everyone complains about. The cops should take the heat off the speed limits for a couple of weeks and just see how many more other offences are being committed on the roads. They could reach their fine target on road hogs and cell phone users within a day or two!

  • Martin - 2010-10-19 12:13

    Somebody asked what number to call if they want to report a suspect driver. I have on a few occasions phoned the police and the traffic police when I suspect a drunk driver on the road. There reaction: not interested! A waste of time to call anyone.Authorities "want" to clamp down but the idiots working at the police and traffic don't care a damn.

  • Nams - 2010-10-19 12:50

    Frankly, in my 10 years of driving on Joburg roads, I've never seen a biker on the road that is not going inbetween lanes. The fools are especially dangerous when you, in the car, are trying to change lanes and they come up too quickly and go between you and the other car that you dont see them. This Think Bike is a bunch on nonsense. Stop whining when you're at fault.

  • TEAM - 2010-10-19 12:53

    @Angie.I have got to agree with your comments regarding Durban drivers.I myself am from Durban North and from my travels around the country have first hand witnessd the shear propensity of road users from Durban to flout the rules and become a menace on the road.There are many who try to maintain sensibly use the shared road ways but these a few and far between and are sometimes frustrated into the adopting the policy of "if you can't beat them...".This is not cool guys, not cool at all.

  • @Angie - 2010-10-19 13:19

    My Angie you are so narrow minded - if the registration of the vehicle says ND does not automatically mean it's a Durban Driver get real, more often than not they are Joburg drivers who purchased Durban vehicles

  • rikki - 2010-10-20 07:42

    @Nams, um, you know that they are supposed to go between the cars right?? How would you feel if the traffic increased because the bikers were sitting in line with the cars? You'd get pissed off with that!! Oh and if you used your indicators when you changed lanes and actually looked in your side mirrors, you'd see the bikers. Bikers are saving people time, money oh and not to mention mother earth! So think bike is real and should be appriciated!

  • preshen govender - 2010-10-20 07:49

    drink vodka because it got no smell,also try vanilla essence to beat the breathalyzers

  • eric - 2010-10-20 07:55

    To all bikers who continually bleat about "Think Biker", I would like to suggest that bikers should "Think motorist!" Firstly a large nimber of bikers ride with their lights on bright. Secondly with the way they weave in and out of traffic, it's not surprizing when some get taken out, and finally, what happened to the rule from a few years ago that made it illegal for bikers to overtake between lanes? They were supposed to only overtake when the lane on the right was clear. As for the general motorist, it is high time that everyone be taught the art of defensive driving. That is for each driver to expect the very worst from any situation, and to be prepared to react accordingly so as to avoid an accident. As regards taxi's, I believe that all taxi drivers should be given extensive lessons in the basic road rules. Most of them continually flout all road rules, and show no regard for any other road users at all.

  • WTF - 2010-10-20 16:34

    @Eric dude you got to watch what you say about Bikers, Its not only bikers that are the problem. Myself not being a biker I do respect them as I respect you as a motorist. And bikers don't ride with bright, its just normal lights, its the angle that makes it seem bright. like with some of the new cars they seem to have bright on but they don't. i just think in general alot of people cant drive or dont have a drivers. get them off the roads and you will see a huge diff in traffic.

  • Love Driving - 2010-10-20 22:22

    the items mentioned in the article is what is mentioned in advanced driver training as well and common knowledge is...bad maintained car means driver with no love to drive. I also reported a Bus in Jan this year to Mowbray Police. Bus almost rammed me onto the N2 wall..Police said not their problem because no one was injured..killed if car gets hit by a bus at 120KM/h. there is website where you can report bad driving. There is link on the AA website. You would need to look for it because its under menu, under another menu called Report Driving. You will need load of details. CarColour, Make, Reg, road, time, intersection. I am sure Wheels 24 can post the link. I do think that we who drive with the love of driving should keep driving safe and considerate...be the example. when I was younger I use love driving fast, nowI have a fast car that I drive at max 140. for two reason ADVANCED driver training, seeing a car at 60 and 160 coming to stand still and to enjoy the drive. Speeding in peak hour traffic irritates me though, like really you going 8m ahead...but you on my ass and changing lanes (blocking bikers) and also people who dont know where they going...like 3km ago did u not know where you want to turn off.

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