REDLINE FORUM

THIS IS WHERE YOU GET TO SAY YOUR BIT

 

 

Nine ways to kill E-Tolls

 

First you must know that E-TOLLS is the enemy!

Always obey the rules of the road,

Always be aware and courteous and drive/ride carefully - your life depends on it!

We are NOT advocating breaking the law or endangering road users in any way!

1.) Never buy an E-Tag – Never get tagged. Don’t make things easy for SANRAL, make it as difficult as possible for them to find your address and get the bill (if any) to you. This should be fun, with postal strikes enol.

2.) Make sure you drive under an E-Toll gantry only once a month, ensuring SANRAL send you a minimum bill, which will cost them more to send the bill than it’s worth.

3.) If you have to use the E-Road, straddle between lanes under the gantries (only where possible, without endangering yourself and others, especially on a bike), as this will play havoc with triggering their cameras.

 

you’ll notice four white paint markings in the middle of each lane where the cameras are focused

 

4.) Where possible, use the E-Roads without going under the gantries. There are sections (not many) where you can use the roads without going under a gantry.

5.) Take an alternative route whenever and wherever possible.

6.) Lift clubs etc should register as Taxis (’cos we have such a shitty Public Transport system), whereby you will be exempted from paying E-Tolls.

7.) If you need to tow a vehicle on a trailer, take number plate(s) off the vehicle being towed. Trailered (towed) vehicles don’t need to pay Toll fees. Huge loophole here… use your imagination.

8.) Send this to all your family and friends, we need to stand together on this and get this Highway Robbery stopped. SANRAL’s propaganda machine always refers to the toll-roads as FREEWAYS? They are not FREE, we have paid (and are still paying) for these Highways. Our Government is taxing us to death with: Income Tax, Value Added Tax (VAT), Carbon Emissions Tax, Licence Tax, Petrol/Diesel Tax, Road Usage Tax, Local Tax, Vehicle Licence Registration Tax, Vehicle Sales Tax, etc.

9.) Vote for the Democratic Alliance (DA), or anyone other than the ANC (the arseholes who proudly brought E-Tolls to us).

 

The ANC government propaganda machine always says that E-Tolls won’t affect the poor and that it will only cost a minimum to road uses, but it will affect EVERYONE, as ALL GOODS AND FOOD is transported in heavy trucks that will be paying much more than motorcycles and cars, plus, if they are successful the toll fees WILL INCREASE ANNUALLY! Bikes and cars are only the thin edge of the wedge.

WE HAVE TO STOP SANRAL IN THEIR TRACKS, MAKE THIS WHOLE RIPOFF, E-TOLL SCHEME UNSUCCESSFULL, OR WE WILL ALL SUFFER! OUR INFRASTUCTURE IS OUR RIGHT, OUR ROADS ARE OUR RIGHT, WE ALREADY PAY FOR THEM. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! LETS STAND TOGETHER ON THIS, LETS THINK LIKE AFRICANS, IN AFRICA!

 

Words and photos by Kenn Slater, for Redline Magazine – kenn@redline.co.za

 

-ENDS-

 

even if it's illegal - on a traffic-sign...

and it would be so easy to clamp down on this illegal behaviour, their phone numbers are on their signs,

the authorities could phone them and tell them to come see them for a quote,

then when they arrive, zap them (clever hey).

 

-ENDS-

 

The great Toll con continues

There's 47 new toll gates going up in Johannesburg and surrounding area soon.

Lets get together and voice our disapproval to the authorities before it's too late.

e-mail your letters of disapproval to kenn@redline.co.za and we'll see to it that our united voice is heard.

Eventually we're not going to be able to move without paying - never mind the price of fuel.

 

-ENDS-

 

DON'T SUPPORT STREET VENDORS...

On Saturday, I turned off at the William Nicol off-ramp from the N1 Southbound with my girlfriend behind in her Golf Chico. I was approached by a guy selling sunglasses wearing a navy blue and white cap and a grey shirt, he came up to my window and asked if I wanted glasses to which I replied no thanks. He then proceeded to my girlfriends' car and asked her, to which she also replied no. He repeatedly asked her and then offered to buy her glasses and she again replied no. At this point he reached into her half closed window and placed his hand firmly between her legs and said "CAN I FILL YOU ?" at which time another vendor selling maps and one selling cellphone accessories gathered round and they all had a big laugh. She grabbed her window winder and rolled up the window at which point the guy withdrew his arm.

 

From my car I saw him reach in, I opened my door and shouted at them and they "Laughed me off ". The robot changed and I pulled off so that she was able to pull off.

 

When we got home she was a wreck. Guys I know its sometimes difficult to understand the severity of something like this. As a woman you feel violated and helpless, and this is where we need to step in and take action against these BASTARDS!

 

I was furious and after weighing up some damage to my car, decided rather to call the police. I called 10111 and asked them to dispatch a vehicle to the off-ramp, so they can at least see that something will be done and can't get away with these kinds of offences. A lady inspector answered and said that offences such as these are very serious and she would dispatch the police in our area but that I would have to meet them. I then went back to the off-ramp and waited. Within 20 minutes the police arrived and all the vendors started looking jittery. Five of the guys including the main guys involved started walking up William Nicol and the police caught the guys.

 

The police inspectors basically told me that from their side they cannot hold anyone and at most I can open a case, but the chances of anything actually happening to the guys are very minimal as there is no chance of finding them to go to court. As it is a sexual assault offence there is no physical proof as in a robbery or smash and grab. He said that these traffic vendors are causing a huge problem for them as they commit these assaults on women on a daily basis, but most of the women don't report it, the vendors also assist the smash and grab guys and hijacking guys for a small cut of the rewards.

 

So after some stern words to the guys, who all flatly denied anything happening, (huge holes in their stories, like saying I was their friend???) they laughed it off and went back to selling merchandise (which is illegal anyway).

 

Please, I urge you not to buy from these traffic vendor CRIMINALS. If no one buys these guys wont be there! If there is a group of guys they have a group mentality that they can't be held accountable for their actions.

 

Girls Please wind up your windows at these intersections and ignore them, it's the easiest way to get them to move on. This is also a big factor in smash and grabs, as you talk to the guy on your side there will be a guy on the other side smashing your passenger window.

 

When you look at these guys see them as potential criminals, sexual abusing bastards, it might save you and your loved ones emotionally and physically.

 

Thanks to the SAPS who assisted so quickly, they actually work better than calling your buddies up when it comes to dealing with known criminals!

 

Please lets stand together, and show them we will stand for their antics any longer. Lets not support them.

 

Greg.

-ENDS-

 

THE CURSE OF THE STREET HAWKERS

DON'T BUY FROM THEM

                               Photo: Kenn Slater

Traffic congestion getting worse by the day!  YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Roads are made for vehicles, not pedestrians, especially not peddlers trying to flog you something. By law they should not be there. They're dangerous (smash & grabs), they're in the way and they illegal, and you're braking the law as well if you buy from them. Knock into one of them and you'll discover what kind of kak you're in.

But there is something we can do about stopping the curse of the street hawkers, DON'T SUPPORT THEM. They're just like monkeys, if you support them they will only multiply, and will never leave the streets. Do not do your shopping in the street. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE, YOU CAN STOP THE ROT and if someone in front of you buys from them, give them a disapproving blast on your hooter and gesture to them to move on. DON'T SUPPORT THEM.

 

e-mail your opinion to kenn@redline.co.za

 

-ENDS-

 

WARNING:

NEW HI-JACKING TECHNIQUE
Vehicle hi-jackers are now tying your gate closed with cable ties.

Then, when you arrive at your gate and your gate will not open,

you get out of the car to inspect the gate and that's when they strike.
If your gate does not open, drive away and phone security.

 

-ENDS-

 

The State of the Nation (well... pertaining to Traffic and the Licensing Departments)

Although a lot has been done in Gauteng, it is often lost in the bigger picture of life. It is sad that lately the state and general condition of the Langlaagte testing grounds in Johannesburg, supposedly the Head-Office and example to all others throughout South Africa, has deteriorated to the condition it is in where people run across the front gate on a busy main road, where taxis stop in the middle of the driveway or main road (against the law).

The general condition of the grounds is atrocious; the tar is deteriorating, broken and full of potholes, sand and rubbish.  There are no direction signs and people drive around aimlessly and park or stop anywhere they please, often obstructing the flow of traffic.

The Langlaagte testing grounds is full of weeds and rubbish.  The queues go out the gates and down the road, people stand for hours waiting for a booking and are often turned away day after day.

If the demand is this high, why are there not more staff to deal with the volumes and where is the money going?

Fencing is fitted and a turn-style to control access, as it seems no thought is given to it, as only one person can go through at a time in one direction.  Useless when one looks at the numbers!

It seems that the Metro Police is intensely focused on speed trapping rather than controlling or preventing the needless loss of life and number of accidents at intersections etc, where people's disregard for the law is so apparent (such as skipping stop streets and traffic lights, and no real understanding as to why the laws are there in the first place; for there own safety as well as other).  The biggest being not obstructing the flow of traffic, a total lack of consideration for others.  It was sad to see recently, that for two days a policeman was placed on duty at the gates and everything worked beautifully until he left of course.  It all returned to the normal chaos of the last few years.

                 

Total disregard for other road users and the rules of the road (no parking within 5 meters of an intersection).

Photos taken outside Langlaagte testing grounds  - where they "should" have gotten their Licence in the first place - Kenn Slater

It seems as thought there is a complete disregard for the law in this country and a lack of understanding for it as well as a lack of consideration for our fellow being.  Why is it, as it never was this way before. Sure numbers have increased as everyone says but we don’t even begin to touch Europe’s figures and they still get it right.

It is a disgrace to the municipality and the traffic department to see the lack of control and the disregard and disrespect towards them.  There inability to control and enforce the law in Gauteng is shocking.

Speed trapping is not the solution.  If speed kills then every racing driver would be dead!  Speed in the wrong circumstances, as well as reckless driving and the lack of consideration for the Law is what causes the most problems, not speed on the open multi-lane roads, highways etc.  If speed is such an issue, why does the government allow such fast vehicles into the country and onto public road in the first place?

Mechanical failure is not the biggest cause of accidents, why then is so much time spent on this instead of focusing on real life threatening issues. 

New testing vehicles have been bought at a large cost, however there is no money to fix and maintain the grounds etc, how do they propose to maintain these as well.

Another area of great concern are trucks driving in the fast lanes on up-hills on highways, again obstructing faster moving traffic and on main roads as well as peak hour traffic, either speeding or blocking traffic and causing accidents.

Why is there no follow on training after a license test, unlike overseas where there is ongoing training and testing of driving skills and ability.

Something needs to be done, and desperately fast as it is only getting worse.

It is easy to moan I know (and sadly more people need to, to get results) but enough is enough as the examples are out there, greater enforcement is needed, a points-man on foot on every corner with radio communication and a ticket book rather than in a fancy vehicle driving around aimlessly wasting more of taxpayers hard earned money would be a good start.

HOPEFUL!

 

-ENDS-

 

ROAD RAGE...

I was driving through the congested area in the north of Johannesburg when a big truck pulled in front of me closely followed by another. This of course necessitated me moving to the outside lane in which, thankfully, there was no other traffic.

What surprised me though was my own reaction! Before I realised it I was on the verge of offering some “suggestions” on how the driver could improve on his skills – needless to say some of the thoughts were not pleasant.

That got me thinking on this newsletters subject and the need to CONTINIOUSLY exercise restraint when driving. These brief suggestions will, I hope, help deal with the adverse side effects of other road users “stupidity”.

 

Avoiding Aggressive Drivers and preventing incidents of Road Rage

Incidents of road rage - those times when drivers act out their anger behind the wheel by trying to hurt another driver or a pedestrian - are becoming more frequent. The following tips can help you avoid incidents with aggressive or violent drivers - and help you avoid such behaviour yourself.

 

Drive nice (remember the RAC slogan “Drive Nice, Its Contagious”)

Being a courteous driver can help you avoid being a victim of road rage. To be courteous:

• Signal (Indicate) every time you merge with traffic, change lanes or turn.
• Use your hooter only when needed to get another driver's attention to prevent a crash

• If another driver wants to get in front of you, let him or her go ahead.
• If you and another driver see a parking space at the same time, let the other person have it.

 

Don't offend

Surveys indicate certain behaviours are most likely to cause an angry response in drivers. To protect yourself, avoid:

• Cutting someone off. Always make sure you have plenty of room before merging onto a highway. Use your indicators before changing direction / lanes or moving over.
• Driving slowly in the right lane. If someone wants to pass you and you're in the right (fast) lane, move over to the left when it's safe to do so and let the person pass.
• Tailgating. Allow more than enough room between your car and the car ahead of you.
• Gesturing in obscene or condescending ways. Never make such a gesture toward another driver.

 

Don't engage

Use these approaches if someone is acting aggressively toward you:

Never pull off to the side of the road to settle things.

• Give the person lots of room. If another driver is directing aggressive behaviour toward you, put as much room between your vehicle and the other car.
• Get help. If another driver is following you or trying to start a fight, use your cellular phone to call the police. If you don't have a cell phone, drive to a place with lots of people - a police station or shopping centre. Don't get out of your car when the person is there.

 

Adjust your attitude

Taking these steps can help you prevent angry responses:

• Forget winning. Driving isn't a contest or a race. Slow down and allow more time for routine trips.
• Get help if you often feel angry when you drive. Books or courses on anger management and stress reduction can help you make driving a more pleasant experience for yourself and others. Seek help from a mental-health professional if you can't reduce your anger on your own.

 

Try it... it could save your Life!

 

-ENDS-

 

The "NO RULES - FREE FOR ALL" of our roads.

Come on guys, we have to do something before it's too late. lets start driving by the rules!

Otherwise we'll end up like the rest of Africa - IN CHAOS!

The other day, while driving around, it dawned on me how bad our driving habits are getting, and the fuzz are doing absolutely NOTHING to rectify it.

Firstly I must tell you about one day in particular. It was one of those cold winter days and I had to take my seventeen-year-old son to the orthodontist to have his braces removed, so I had to have him at the orthodontist at nine in the morning, for a two-hour appointment to have them removed, then at 12.30 I had to take him to an oral-hygienist for a check-up and to clean his teeth, and then have him back at the orthodontist at four o'clock to have them put a brace in - to keep his teeth from pulling back too much. Anyway, all this driving up and down meant I had to drive the same route six times, three time there and three times back. On the first trip, while driving past "Uncle Charlies" I saw these four Cops sitting in a white golf, about 50 metres away from their Speed-Trap camera. And on every trip, right up till 4.30, they were still sitting huddled together in that little white Golf. Oblivious of any traffic offenders, just earning the Joburg Metro a fat whack in speeding fines.

Then about a week later, on Woman's day, I was coming back through Joburg on the M1, from a ride with some buddies and counted no less than nine cameras, from the Atholl Oaklands bridge to the Smit Street off-ramp. Nine cameras, in as many kilometres, that's ridiculous. I kept imagining if I was in a hurry and had sped through all of the cameras... Whew, that would have been an expensive breakfast run. But I could have driven or ridden any piece of crap on that same stretch of road, and nobody, no Cop would have given me a second glance... OH, unless I was on my cellphone, another big money spinner for the Fuzz, which makes me laugh. Just a day later while I was stopped at the robots, I happened to look at the car parked next to me and guess what, it was a Cop sitting in his cage, chatting away on his... CELLPHONE. So I blew my hooter... you should have seen the look I got, like "Sooo? Whaaat?" Bloody idiot, he should be hauled out of his jam-jar and made to do point-duty, in the rain for at least a year.

By now I was really on the lookout... Then I was coming back from the West Rand a few days later, when I took the Klipriversburg off-ramp, only to witness the most unusual thing I've ever seen. There was a traffic congestion on the N12 going towards Alberton and all these clowns were taking the ON-RAMP to come OFF the highway with. I couldn't believe my eyes, and not a cop in sight.

Then I started counting how many Cops, besides SPEED COPS, I could see and counted for a full week. Well... I only counted three "other" cops, and never once saw a cop doing point-duty (and there were plenty robots NOT working - what with all the power outages and all).

The point I'm trying to make here is; you can do  A N Y T H I N G  you want in this country, as long as you don't do it fast, or talk on your cellphone. You can shave, read the paper, put your make-up on (if you're a chick, mind you, maybe....), drink, eat, pick your nose, whatever, but don't talk on a cellphone...  Kenn Slater.

IF EVERYONE DIDN'T SPEED FOR JUST ONE MONTH,

THE FUZZ WOULD HAVE TO SHIFT THEIR EMPHASIS TO THE REAL ROAD-OFFENDERS - OR GO BUST!

 

 

-ENDS-

 

Please don't 'correct' my driving.

South Africans are a FUNNY BUNCH on the roads: virtually all regard themselves as "perfect" drivers, and everyone else is a complete fool, to be treated as a such.

Indeed, how often haven’t we heard words of wisdom spoken by people at social gatherings: "treat everyone else as if they’re total idiots on the road, that’s the key to survival." These pronouncements are usually made in the weighty tones of a judge delivering a verdict.

I’m sure everyone else on the road thinks I’m a fool too. Despite almost two decades of involvement with driver training and an avowed commitment to practicing what I preach when driving, I also get head-shakes and looks of disbelief for being a ‘bad driver’. Let me run you through some of the most common causes – maybe you’ll recognise some of them.

The most common ‘mistake’ I make is wasting space when stopped. I’d be rich if I had a cent for every person who has ever hooted at me whilst stopped at a robot, imploring me to move forward two metres closer to the vehicle behind which I’m waiting. There are very good reasons for keeping a space cushion ahead of your vehicle when stopped. Firstly, if you see trouble approach from the rear, you’re able to get out round the vehicle ahead of you.

Most people who are hit from behind while stopped are sitting ducks. Even if they happen to notice doom approaching from the rear, they’re parked too close to the vehicle ahead to be able to do anything about it. And then they end up being pushed into it, suffering a crunched rear and front.

A stopping distance reduces the risk of additional damage should you not be able to avoid being hit from behind. And finally, stopping at the correct distance means you have a better chance of getting away should you notice a potential hijack situation. Stopping two metres closer to a red robot reduces your arrival time by precisely zero seconds.

Another shocking driving error I make all the time is wasting space while moving. I am constantly reminded of this mistake by drivers following me, who flash their lights and indicate that there’s far too much wasted road space between my vehicle and the one ahead of me.

Just imagine how much quicker I would arrive at my destination if I would just shake off this pesky habit, which is barely tolerable in the left-hand or middle lanes of a road, and totally unacceptable in the right-hand lane.

I have bad news for those attempting to make me aware of this mistake. I like to be able to avoid collisions, and where possible, to be able to stop in the clear space ahead of me. Numerous tests have proven that maintaining an appropriate following distance makes an insignificant difference to one’s arrival time.

However, it means that I can save wear and tear on my vehicle, and reduce fuel consumption by not having to brake and accelerate as a result of the concertina effect experienced by drivers who follow too closely. Also, it means I can brake more gently should I notice a problem up ahead, to give drivers behind me extra warning and prevent them crashing into me. If you insist on tailgating me and attempting to correct my driving, expect the gap ahead of my car to grow, not shrink, as I simultaneously give myself more reaction time to avoid your dangerous driving and encourage you to pass so you can go and crash somewhere else without me.

One of my most dreadful and flawed habits is reducing speed to below the limit in city and suburban driving. Drivers constantly point out the error of my ways by flashing lights and overtaking me dangerously. I’m terribly sorry about that, I really am. After all, I can’t really expect you to know that being hit on your door by a car speeding through a red traffic light is one of the collision types with the highest fatality risk. Nor can I expect you to understand just how long it takes one to stop from 90 or 100km/h, especially in an environment where a safe speed is less than 50.

I wouldn’t expect you to be thinking that the pedestrians up ahead are potentially drunk or may suddenly run across the road, and the last thing you’re thinking of is what you will do if someone coming the other way swerves on to your side of the road. I doubt you’ve ever learned how to effectively climb a pavement kerbstone at speed to avoid a collision in a suburban area, so I’m having to do lots of your thinking for you. The result is that I have to drive slower – there’s so much to assimilate and react to that if I were to stick to the speed limit I wouldn’t be able to prevent many of the possible emergencies I might face in city driving. That’s entirely unsatisfactory in a country where one collision in 50 is fatal.

Perhaps my worst habit is the unconscionable act of making the traffic behind me wait an extra five seconds while I create a gap for a struggling old granny in her Mark II Cortina. She may not be fit to be on the road, but she nonetheless is and must be dealt with on that basis. If I die at seventy years old, I’ll have enjoyed a lifetime over 2.2 billion seconds long – I’m not particularly concerned if five or ten seconds go adrift here or there, and nor should you be.

I’ve worked for some draconian clock-watchers in my life, but I can’t recall ever having been taken to task for being five seconds late for work or an appointment. If you’re already late, then the five seconds probably won’t make much difference. And if it really matters that much to you, your problem would be more effectively addressed on a psychologist’s couch than by tearing your hair out in a line of traffic.

Of course, I make many other similar mistakes on the road for which I am soundly berated by other drivers. However, one develops a remarkably thick skin: I’ve spent far too much of my life investigating ways to drive more safely to allow someone who may well not even have a valid driver’s licence to dictate my driving style to me.

Bear that in mind when next you feel like blowing off steam in traffic.

"This article first appeared in AutoDealer 3 - 9 April. Copyright (c) AutoDealer / Caxton / Rob Handfield - Jones 2006"

 

 

-ENDS-

 

CAMERAS DO NOT MAKE ROADS SAFER,

THEY'RE JUST USED TO FLEECE THE PUBLIC.

Yep, it's a fact, cameras do not make roads a safer place. They do nothing to stop drunk drivers, they don't stop unroadworthy vehicles, they won't catch tailgaters, they won't stop people stopping just anywhere. In fact all they do is earn whichever council a load of easy bucks. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there should be no speed trapping (although it would be great to have certain straight highways have higher speed limits for bikes and cars, like on German Autobahns), but instead of hiding speed cameras behind bushes etc, they should be very visible, that way they will have the desired effect of slowing the traffic down. An example of this would be like in England, where they paint the camera boxes bright yellow and place them in strategic places, visible for all to see. That way, whoever sees the (very visible) speed cameras, slows down, to avoid getting caught. So more important than fleecing the public of their hard earned money and not having any effect on other road transgressors, the British cops are doing the job of "protecting and serving" much more effectively. After every holiday season we get these reports of how hundreds of people have died on our country's roads, and every single report tells us that the majority of these deaths are pedestrians and fatalities in buses with faulty brakes and people dying in taxis with no brakes. And yet all the transport minister and his deputies harp on about is how "speed kills" (won't someone tell them that it's not the speed that kills, it's the sudden stop).

Photo: Kenn Slater

The cops are so busy trying to catch the speedsters, that they lose sight of what they're really there for, and that is to prevent the real hazards from being on our roads, like pedestrians (often drunk) crossing national highways, reckless drivers, drivers and riders who obviously didn't get their license legitimately, because they don't have a clue of the rules of the road. The people who stop inside traffic circles and intersections, people who swerve across three lanes of traffic to get to an off-ramp and guys who (even worse) reverse on a highway (somer in the fast lane nogal), these are the dudes they must cop.

How about this? We all obey the speed limits for a month. Hey I'm sure the authorities will sit up and take notice then. Maybe they'll look at the REAL offenders to earn their revenue, maybe, just maybe we'll get them to do some real work for a change and then I'm sure we'll have safer roads.   Kenn Slater.

 

e-mail your opinion to kenn@redline.co.za

 

 

-ENDS-

The proper use of your vehicle's lights

Too many people don't use their vehicle's lights properly. First of all, I'm glad to say most people do know when to use what lights. I don't know what people think, but It's quite simple really. Fog-lights are designed to help you see better through fog, Parking-lights are for parking and Head-lights are used to help you see when the light is bad (like at night).

FOG LIGHTS (sometimes wrongfully referred to as driving lights): There are some idiots who persist in using their fu%king fog lights when there isn't even a cloud in sight. FOG LIGHTS ARE FOR FOG. What are these inconsiderate arseholes trying to show other road users? That they have these lights, that their cars are better than others? Because all they are showing us, is that they are just arrogant, ignorant, selfish arseholes, with no consideration for other road uses. And they can't say that they put them on accidentally, because every single car has a separate switch to switch them on with, they don't just come on with the headlights. It's terrible driving behind some dickhead when they have their rear FOG LIGHTS ON. None can tell me they enjoy looking into those blinding FOG lights, and it's not as if Fog lights help with night-vision at all (I think, they think, it looks cool). Please people, use your fu%king FOG lights only in FOG.

PARKING LIGHTS: These are small, little, dim lights that should be left on at night, WHEN YOU'ER PARKED! Not for driving under any circumstances, especially in half-light (dusk or dawn etc.). The first click on the light-stalk switchers them on, go one more to the next click, then you have your main head-lights ON (most cars will go onto parking-light-mode when the ignition is switched OFF, with the lights fully ON). When in doubt about when to switch your headlights ON or not, rather switch them ON. Remember, if you battle to see other traffic, they will battle to see you.

It seems to be common practice (especially with Black Taxis), to drive around with their little Parking Lights ON until it's very dark, and then switch to headlights (or those that do work, usually only one works) and of course those frigging FOG lights, so at first you can't see them, then you're blinded by their lights.

DRIVING LIGHTS: These are those big (usually the biggest) main lights in front, to be used at night, or when circumstances call for them to be used, like in tunnels etc. There are two setting for these BIG lights, namely Dims and Brights. Dims should be used ALL THE TIME while driving around at night, these light up the road in front of you, so you can see where you're going and so that other road users can see you too. Brights should only be used when the road ahead is clear, and by using them you're not going to make driving difficult for motorists and motorcyclists ahead of you. If you can't see slow down, and if you still can't see you shouldn't be on the roads. Consider that night-driving is dangerous enough without being blinded by all these FOG LIGHTS and BRIGHT LIGHTS!    Kenn Slater.

 

Parking lights are for frigging parking - ONLY!

Fog lights are for frigging fog - ONLY!

 

e-mail your opinion to kenn@redline.co.za

 

-ENDS-

 

DIARY OF A JOHANNESBURG TAXI DRIVER

 

Togetherness Tshabalala weaves his High Impact African Culling Equipment (Hi-Ace for short) through the rush-hour traffic occasionally using the pavement to increase productivity. The rising sun shines brightly off Togetherness' gleaming, stolen BMW hubcaps. Togetherness is a confident man with high spirits, as evidenced by the sticker on his rear window: ' avoid constipation - travel by taxi`.
On the front of his taxi, between a large dent which, ominously, is in the shape of a traffic cop and the holes from a small spray of bullets, is a lurid notice reading: `Jukskei Park Express Inaugural Flight`. The word 'flight' is Togetherness` own little personal joke.  He hopes to start a daily service between Jukskei Park and Johannesburg; a twenty-five kilometer journey which takes ten minutes - less if pavements are open.
The percussion waves from Togetherness` powerful radio (borrowed from a BMW Z3) pushes back the early mist. He is playing Boom Shaka's latest low frequency, 120 dB hit, `How low can we go` and he hoots exuberantly as he drives.
Togetherness hoots at anything he sees, including trees, as is the custom of his people. On board the taxi are a dozen white people. They do not come whiter than this. They are VERY white. But they were not born white. No, their pallor is due to fear and stark terror. Take John Mleka. Never in his life has he done 0 to 100 km/h in six seconds - especially not in heavy traffic.
Denise Mthaba's colour has changed from green-black to a sort of waxen ivory as quickly as the last traffic light had changed to red (a colour which traditionally prompts taxi drivers to make even more haste). Togetherness regularly looks over his shoulder while driving asking passengers their destinations. Elizabeth Mkize, sitting right at the back, has the opportunity to say `Rendbeg Centa` even though she works in Johannesburg. Randburg was coming up fast and it suddenly seemed a quicker way to get out. She worries about how she will make her way to the front; but only fleetingly because the taxi has now reached Randburg and Togetherness has stopped. He has stopped as suddenly as a plane might
stopped up against a mountain. Now everybody is at the front in a warm, intimate heap. Elizabeth alights as gracefully as anybody can with one knee locked  behind the other, and then she becomes vaguely aware of passers-by loosening her clothing and shouting `Give her air!` Togetherness bowls happily along Jan Smuts Avenue, overtaking a police BMW which is chasing a getaway car. Then he overtakes the getaway car too, exchanging boisterous greetings with the driver whom he knows.
Toghetherness is steering with his elbows because he needs his hands free to check the morning's takings  and to wave to girls on the pavement. What is even more remarkable is that Togetherness is doing this despite the fact that his taxi does not have a steering wheel. When Togetherness' friend Sipho, stole this vehicle, it was fitted with a steering lock, so Sipho had no option but to remove the steering wheel.
The spanner that Sipho has attached to the steering bolt in its place is quite adequate though. Togetherness smiles and turns to his passengers as he accelerates past a truck on a blind rise, he announces: `Ladies and gentlemen, these ees your Ceptain. We will shortly be lending in Johennesbeg. Plis make sure your seatbelts are in the upright position, end your seats are fastened. Thank you for flying with us today. We hope to see you soon again'.
John Mleka is gripping the seat in front of him so tightly that he notices his finger tips have gone transparent,  as a passing taxi fires a brief burst from an automatic weapon in his direction. Togetherness now reaches the city and merges with the in-bound traffic like his ancestors merged with the British at Isandlwana.
He stops at his usual disembarkation point in the middle of an intersection and picks his teeth patiently while people sort out their legs and teeth, before groping their way towards a pole around which they can throw their arms. By the time his passengers' have recovered, Togetherness is already halfway back to Jukskei Park with another load of passengers.

 

-ENDS-

 

Scrap metal merchants and their thieving collectors

making roads unsafe by stealing covers!

                         Photo: Lee Slater

The authorities should swoop down on the Scrap Metal Merchants. If they find ANYTHING with ANY municipality mark/stamp on it, they should issue a heavy spot fine (R1000.00) as a first offence. If they catch them dealing in stolen goods again, they should close them down. That's the only way to put an end to all this HIGHWAY ROBBERY!

These arseholes are raping our country of man-hole covers, Armco barriers, pedestrian bridge railings, fences and anything and everything that's made of metal. And the worst thing is, they get almost nothing for it. The only twats that are making bucks from all this thieving, are the scrap dealers. These common thieves have gotten away with this for so long, that they are now stealing covers IN THE ROADS. If you drive or ride into one of these holes (even at slow speeds), you're either going to totally stuff your car's tyre, rim and suspension up, or if you're on a bike, you gonna hit the tarmac, maybe even be killed. How often have you had to avoid driving into one of these thieves, pushing his stolen shopping trolley, with all the stolen covers, fences, poles, pieces of Armco etc. in the middle of the frigging road? There's usually one wheel of the trolley that's seized, causing the thing to be uncontrollable, plus the fact that the 'pusher' is probably pissed - eish - what is this (used to be beautiful) country coming to?   Kenn Slater.

 

e-mail your opinion to kenn@redline.co.za

 

  -ENDS-

 

Food for thought...

An Honest Mistake

A man was being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy Street. Suddenly the light turned Orange just in front of him.
He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.
The tailgating woman hit the roof, and the horn, showing him 'the finger' while screaming in frustration that she missed her chance to get through the intersection because of him.
As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a knock on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer.
The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.
"I'm very sorry for this mistake", he said, "You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, giving the guy in front of you the finger and cursing at him. I noticed the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'What Would Jesus Do', the 'Follow Me to Sunday School' bumper stickers, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk.... and naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car!"

 

give us YOUR input, e-mail kenn@redline.co.za

 

-ENDS-

 

Learning the rules of the road in China
By Nick Macfie


Beijing
, China - Driving my battered old Volkswagen Santana on the streets of Beijing, I made the mistake of stopping at a red light.
It turned out I was doing the right thing. I know that, because I later checked the Chinese Highway Code. It was a red light on a left turn. Not one of those red lights where you don't actually have to stop. That did not prevent the drivers lined up behind me from leaning on their horns and making all sorts of gesticulations suggesting that perhaps I should get out of their way.

That is the problem with driving in China, which statistically has some of the world's most dangerous roads
.
About 1100 new cars and other vehicles hit the streets of Beijing every day. There are rules, but many, many people don't obey them.
It is common to see cars back up on highways when they miss a turn. To see someone signal to overtake is a rare delight. (Sounds just like SA - Kenn.)


I passed the road traffic theory test when I arrived in China three years ago but a series of minor offences meant I had to re-take it. My approach had always been "when in Rome, etc". With cameras watching at just about every major junction, that was my mistake.
I took the test again this month - and failed. I got 74 out of 100. The pass mark is 90. I thought it only right to buy the English-language version of the highway code and cram for my third attempt but the questions and answers are often contradictory, or just plain bizarre
.

And not because anything is lost in translation.
Some are easy:

"Blowing the horn in an area or section where horn-blowing is prohibited is not permitted." True or false?

Some are confusing:

"If a motor vehicle is passing through an intersection without a traffic light or traffic sign, should it give right of way to vehicles that have a green light?"

Some are scary:

"When a bicycle rider tries to grasp a moving vehicle, the driver should accelerate to get away from him, stop quickly or stop smoothly?"

The road rage question reads:

After quarrelling with others, a driver:
a) Can drive the vehicle only after calming down.
b) Should fight the person with whom there is a disagreement and let the situation affect his driving.
c) Drive with rage.


And then there is the perennial favourite:

What should a driver do when he needs to spit while driving?
a) Spit through the window.
b) Spit into a piece of waste paper and put it in a garbage can.
c) Spit on the floor of the vehicle?"


The answer, in case it comes up, is 'b'.

The test centre, south of Beijing, cannot be missed. Flanking the main gates are two vehicles on plinths - one a wrecked Mercedes and the other a burned-out minivan.
Waiting for your test, you can watch a DVD showing car wrecks, burnt bodies, torn limbs and grieving families. Or you read the sign: "Let the road safety rules be your mentor."
Then comes the test itself, all done by computer. If you pass you get a smiley face. If you fail, it's tears.
I got tears when I took it for the third time but the officer in charge looked at my score - 88 out of 100 - and showed some much-appreciated leeway. He let me pass.
Back at reception, another officer said "well done" and told me I could drive again the next day.
And when I did get back behind the wheel, I considered the wisdom of another gem from the Highway Code.
"If your petrol tank catches fire, do you douse it with water, use a carbon-dioxide fire extinguisher, or cover the flames with cotton-padded clothes?"

The answer given is cotton-padded clothes. I have my doubts. - Reuters

 

-ENDS-

 

The ins and outs of car sex...

A lot has been written about car sex... and I'm sure just about anyone with access to a motor vehicle has at some time or another used it for a private moment or two - whether a quick elicit kiss or something more.

But before you move closer to your screen in anticipation of lots of steamy revelations, I'm afraid you'll have to wait until I finish my "book" before you can read any of my sordid past.

No, what I want to talk about here is the sex of your car... not having sex in your car.

A survey in the UK has come up with a few revealing pieces of information.

First of all, your car is transsexual. Yes, it can be whatever sex you want it to be.

Secondly, your car changes sex through its life cycle. Fortunately it's not accompanied by any of the mental and often physical pain that accompanies human sex change.

Third, and I find this most interesting - old bangers are more likely to be male. No, I'm not reverting to my opening paragraph. An "old banger" is a car that's been around the block a few times. Or maybe I AM referring to my opening paragraph...

Fourth - and I wonder about this one - cars in big cities are more masculine than in rural areas.

The survey was conducted by the Bosch Car Service network of independent garages across the UK... and it deduced that most of the time a car starts out as a female.

Now, I don't know many people who ascribe any particular sex to their car. Most of the people I mix with don't keep their cars long enough to get that attached.

However, there was one, Hettie (or was it Helga?) and her MINI-Cooper was definitely a she. Which was justified I suppose, given its sexy styling and very feminine red paintwork - always reminds me of a beautiful woman in a red dress.

The survey also found that although it starts its life as a female, as the years pass by the majority of drivers see their car become a man.

Now this is an interesting one, and I wonder how closely it reflects on life. I remember reading an interview with one time great lady's man Jack Nicholson, who related that as he got older be found he preferred the company of men more and more rather than the machinations of the opposite sex.

The next bit of info is sort of obvious - the survey found that men are more likely to identify with their cars, considering them to be the same sex as themselves. Likewise, the majority of women thought their cars were female.

The survey also highlighted significant regional variations on how motorists view their cars.

In London, for example, 35% of motorists think their car's male, compared to 18% who think it's a woman.

However, out in the sticks the people of Wales think the opposite to be true, with only 15% of motorists viewing their cars as male and more than 42% as female.

Mmm... I can see how most drivers in Joburg would think of their car as male. After all, most of them use it as a weapon, often sexually - the "F word" accompanies most driving manoeuvres.

However in Cape Town, with its huge gay population, I wonder if the same can be said. And I can't imagine a mealie farmer from the outer limits of the Northern Cape talking to his bakkie in terms of quiet endearment. There again my Uncle Eric, who was also from Joburg, with a tough disposition and taste for good scotch, always called his car "old girl..."

Another gem from the survey said 55% of Welsh people (for South Africa read country dwellers) also admitted to feeling sad or shedding a tear when getting rid of their wheels. And 46% even gave their car a name! Well, I can relate to that one. I have a little Citi Golf, basically as my run-around vehicle, it's in perfect condition, having had it since new, with no damage or rust and with only 145 000 km on the clock from new, and I call her Helga, 'cos she's German. At one time she had a mate, too, a big (for Helga) silver Micro Bus called Max, but one day he upped and left...

 

- UNFORTUNATELY IT ENDS HERE -

 

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