Getting to know me

Ten Things I’d Like To Say To Capetonian Drivers

Due to my lack of foresight (or bravery), I haven’t had my driver’s license for very long, and I would never claim to be a fantastic driver. But I can drive, and I abide by the road rules (usually…) and I do have a bit of road rage. As in, I like shouting into the empty void while driving. [I don’t hoot. I don’t want to get shot at or anything.]

Most of the driving I’ve done has been in Cape Town*, and MAN, do these drivers annoy me sometimes! I feel like I need to install an LED-message bar on my bumper so that I can choose any of a select few messages to convey to fellow drivers. Heh.

1. Y’ALL NEED TO USE MORE PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Have you driven in Cape Town proper recently? So much traffic, so many cars, so little damn parking. (I’m sure the air pollution isn’t so great either.) Trains may not always be reliable, but there’s the MyCiti system now. C’mon people: it’s affordable and fast and awesome.

2. YOU HAVE INDICATORS

Seriously. what is it with people not using their indicators? Just because YOU know that you are going to turn does not mean that OTHERS know that.

On that note, it is not acceptable to indicate as you begin crossing into a different lane. TOO LATE, BRO! You need to indicate your intention to turn just a few seconds before so that the rest of us can actually be prepared.

Also: turn signals are very useful when you’re in a roundabout. Then I know when you plan on exiting… imagine that!

3. LEARN TO DRIVE A ROUNDABOUT

See above. If I can do it, you can do it.

4. INCHING FORWARD WHILE THE LIGHT IS RED DOES NOT MAKE YOU HARDCORE

It’s actually kind of funny how Capetonians will slooooowly inch across the intersection as if they are just in suuuuuuch a hurry, and then when the light finally turns green they take eons to actually get going. Dude, maybe you should spend your time getting into the right gear instead of your little to-and-fro dance?

5. DRIVING 50KM/H IN A 60-ZONE DOES NOT MAKE YOU A MORE LAW-ABIDING CITIZEN

60km/h is already friggin’ painful. And if you’re going to insist on driving annoyingly slowly, please use the slow lane.

Click image for more funny South African road signs

6. WHY ARE YOU DRIVING SO SLOOOOOWLY OVER THE INTERSECTION?

Seriously, WHYYYYY? I understand the need to be careful in case somebody is jumping a red, but… seriously!

7. PLEASE STOP FOR PEDESTRIANS AT ZEBRA CROSSINGS

I believe so many people jaywalk because they reckon nobody stops for them at the zebra crossings… let’s change that. Unless the crossing actually has a light for pedestrians, in which case they can damn well wait for it like the rest of us.

8. THERE IS NO NEED TO PARK SO CLOSE TO ME

If the whole entire parking lot is open, why do you choose to park right next to me? And why would you park so close to me that I/my passenger can barely get out?! I have a dents and scratches policy, but do you? I’m feeling a little claustrophobic over here.

9. IT’S RAIN, NOT LAVA

I imagine this happens most everywhere. I’m just fascinated by how a bit of rain suddenly turns drivers into scared learner-drivers all over again.

10. TRY TO BE PATIENT

This one is a reminder to myself, too. I make a bunch of driving faux pas myself, which is why I stick to shouting in my car instead of hooting and throwing rude signs. Especially to learners. Remember, we were all learners once-upon-a-time. Also, I find that when I’m already feeling stupid about a driving blunder, some idiot hooting at me just makes me more nervous.

So there’s my ranting. Maybe next time I won’t shout so loudly in my poor little car. Oh, I do have a question for Capetonian drivers, though:

PLEASE TEACH ME TO PARALLEL PARK PROPERLY!

I did this well in my driving test, but doing it in real life, with the aforementioned very limited parking space is a massive challenge and I find myself parking far away rather than parallel parking.

*I’m sure a lot of these phenomena occur in other cities too – Cape Town is just the one I have most experience with. I still love you and all that 😉

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11 thoughts on “Ten Things I’d Like To Say To Capetonian Drivers”

  1. Lol, it’s fun to hear about the inching forward thingy. Drivers do this here as well (looks like it’s an universal thing….sigh) And I actually find parallel parking easy (btw, I have my drivers licence about a year now…), and definitely much easier than perpendicular parking 🙂

  2. same problems where i’m from too but in the country it is better unless its cityo’s driving in the country then that’s a whole new can of worms 😉

  3. I have this intense desire to say, “Oh, you poor, clueless little dear,” but that would be incredibly patronising, so I’ll go with “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” Driving in Cape Town is a dream, even in the City itself. Cape Town drivers are the most courteous people, and while there will always be a few deviants, they’re quite law-abiding as well. Try driving in Gauteng (or even Bloemfontein in the Free State) and we can talk again. Or Kroonstad, where I live, where you’re allowed (apparently) to make a lane change within a circle even though there’s already a car in the other lane, where four-way stops are so much a suggestion that people don’t even bother reducing speed when approaching them, and where the entire population forgets how to drive on Fridays (really, I avoid going into town on Fridays – it’s chaos). You’ll be thankful yet for Cape Town drivers. Just wait and see. 😀

    1. Hah, really? I really haven’t known them to be courteous… maybe I’m driving in the wrong place. Or at the wrong times. I guess my problem is the slowness. Today I was just trying to get away for the weekend and so many people were driving 45-60km/h for absolutely no reason, and not even during peak traffic. It annoys me. I might be a bit of an aggressive driver because I learned to drive in the Eastern Cape where you either drive aggressively or risk getting driven off the road. But I hear you, that there are worse places to drive 😛

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