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Road Rules – Myths Busted

Road Rules

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In South Africa, most of the time our road rules are clearly outlined and understood by many, however, there are less common rules which you may not have heard of before. There are still several misconceptions about road rules in our country.

Many road users believe that gated estate roads are deemed ‘private roads’ – this is false. According to the law, these roads situated within the estates are still public roads. There are many cases where the signage and road markings within these estates do not comply with the requirements of the NRTA, therefore making them illegal.

Another misconception is that you are allowed to use your phone while driving, as long as you are not talking on it. This is false! No driver should be using a hand-held cellphone while on the roads. This is seen as a major safety hazard. Motorists should not even use their phones while stopped at a traffic light.

Many times, you see oncoming bakkies flashing their lights to warn you of an upcoming roadblock, and they do this out of courtesy. People do not see this as an issue, but this too is an illegal act. This is actually a criminal offense, as by warning passing cars, you might be aiding a wanted criminal by helping them to avoid the upcoming roadblock.

It is true that no driver should be smoking in a car when there are children present. No person is allowed to smoke a tobacco product in a motor vehicle when children under the age of 12 are in the vehicle. This could result in a penalty of R500, according to the Tobacco Products Control Act, 1993.

These are just a few road rules which have blurred lines. It is important to do your research and ensure that your actions on the roads are warranted and legal.

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