Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Join the anti-roadWORKS rage movement

Joburg traffic has never been so nightmarish. Our drivers have never been the most courteous or responsible but we had some of the best roads in the country which allowed us to go where we needed, unless there was rush hour traffic. At the moment you literally take your life in your hands going onto any of the highways, which I need to to go to all these functions and meet all the interesting people that I do, and it takes forever to go anywhere. I ventured onto the N3 South yesterday, the first day of spring so everyone was out and about, and found that at the exit there were three men waving a little yellow flag with a cross in the middle of it (signifying .. what?). They gestured that I could not enter the exit, but then allowed everyone else to go through. When I finally managed to get onto the highway I found that my lane came to an abrupt halt so I had to funnel into the lane on the right. That was OK, as I had anticipated it, but then suddenly without any warning or road sign that right hand lane also ended and I had nowhere to go. On the right was an enormous truck whizzing past at terrifying speed and on the left, well, about one centimetre. The amount of road accidents the roadworks must be causing can only be imagined and I see it every day.
It's great they are working on the roads for 2010 but do they have to do it when we are ON the roads? Here are some of the things which I have found over past weeks which should not be happening.

1. Incredibly bright lights in the eyes of motorists at night while the roadworks are going on, which completely blind oncoming traffic.
2. Road surfaces which are uneven so that your vehicle swerves when you drive on it (ie the resurfacing has only been done on one side of the lane so the tyres are not on a balanced, equal surface).
3. Left or right hand lanes which abruptly end without warning and with nowhere to escape.
4. Road markings such as lane lines which are not visible so that motorists get oonfused and nearly collide into one another.
5. Lanes which are way too narrow for large vehicles to navigate without encroaching on other lanes.
6. Construction vehicles, such as the one I observed recently just before the 14th Ave turnoff on the concrete highway, which decided to do a "taxi move". It moved without warning from the left hand lane to the right hand lane and then stopped, indicated right (in the fast lane) and turned into the construction area while everyone behind it slammed on brakes.

Add to all the digging up, redirecting and total chaos of the roads the amount of drunken, abusive and irresponsible drivers in unroadworthy vehicles and you can see my point. People don't slow down or respect the potential danger but go faster and terrify the wits out of you.

There are so many more examples of irresponsible road management I could go on all day. All this has induced in me what I call RoadWORKS rage and I want to boycott the highways of Johannesburg and Pretoria for good from now on. Come on and join the movement. I don't see why we have to pay for any of it either!

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