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Driving in South Africa
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:58 am 
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In late January/early February I was in South Africa. Incredible place, lots to do... you can even go dive with Great White Sharks or, for an even more thrilling and scary experience, drive on their roads. Cape Town was pretty civilized but the rest of the country...



Our driver in Johannesburg was going 120-140 and traffic was flying past us. The only time they slowed down was for the speed cameras. (Yes, South Africa has photo radar.) Some people went 200+ on two-lane highways; others were going barely 60. People don't just drive on the highways in rural areas - there are pedestrians, livestock, wildlife, markets, fruit sellers and everything else. The concept of "pass in safety" doesn't exist - people just pull out and pass even if there is oncoming traffic. As a courtesy, most of the time people will move to the shoulder to allow faster-moving traffic to pass, but you have to watch out for pedestrians, livestock, etc. There's also nothing like cresting a hill at 110 km/h to see a Mercedes coming right at you while passing a fuel tanker truck, and a hippopotamus nonchalantly munching grass half in your lane too. Many of the drivers are drunk. Then there are the minibus taxis, who drive like demented kamikazes. They drive 100+ on city streets, charge across lanes with suicidal abandon, stop suddenly, pull out and force others to brake or (usually) swerve to let them in, turn across multiple lanes of traffic at full speed, and they almost never stop for red lights. You can literally be going through an intersection with dozens of other cars and a minibus taxi will charge through the red light, forcing all of you to brake.

And for the ultimate thrill ride, we took a regular taxi from the hotel in Johannesburg to the airport. The drive was pretty much like this video here:



Yes, that video is from South Korea, but the taxi driver was doing exactly the same stuff.

That said, if any of you ever get a chance to go to South Africa... take it. The driving is nuts but the trip is definitely worth it.

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Re: Driving in South Africa
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:47 pm 
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Is traffic enforcement non existent out there? lol


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Re: Driving in South Africa
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:26 am 
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Pretty much, although they will flag down drivers and check their licence status periodically. Oh that's another thing - South Africa is chock-full of unlicenced drivers.

That said, in all fairness to the South African Police Service and the other police agencies across the country, they've got higher priorities to tackle with limited resources.

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Re: Driving in South Africa
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:00 pm 
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Great videos Radar! I like the soundtrack too hehe! South Africa looks beautful! Thanks for posting.

Makes you love the HTA after driving there doesnt it!? I have also driven in some other countries and it kinda makes you think...

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Re: Driving in South Africa
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:13 am 
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Thanks admin! South Africa was incredibly beautiful... I also took a lot of other videos that I put up on YouTube.

admin wrote:
Makes you love the HTA after driving there doesnt it!? I have also driven in some other countries and it kinda makes you think...


I agree... definitely a lot of places where the driving is a lot worse than here... although, to be fair, there's also quite a few where the driving's a lot better than here, too. Kinda makes you realize how things can be when licensing, enforcement, road design, etc., are all really poor, or really good.

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Re: Driving in South Africa
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:52 am 
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What are the penalties for driving without a license and/or insurance?

And hey, during the part of your first video where you're on the highway in J.burg, are those two, close together overhead structures with bright purplish light the speed cameras? Not exactly hard to spot,lol. Kind of like a speed bump for people going triple digit speeds.


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Re: Driving in South Africa
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:11 am 
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Driving without a licence can get you arrested... although... my understanding is that the usual penalty is 1000 Rand or so. (About $150.)

My understanding of the structures with the purplish lights is that they are used for traffic surveillance as opposed to speed enforcement... but I could be wrong. The Johannesburg Metro Police Department sets up mobile speed cameras and catches people that way... and in many cases they've caught people going 250... INCLUDING (allegedly) the South Africa Minister of Transport.

http://mg.co.za/article/2012-01-08-traf ... ing-fines/

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