Taxis can’t take all the blame

I often hear people moaning about taxis and how they think they own the road.

It’s a fairly valid point. I drive down Malibongwe Road almost every single day of my life and the things I’ve witnessed keep me up at night. I can’t even begin to imagine how the passengers in the taxi must feel like when it drives into oncoming traffic…

I’ve only seen this a few times before, but it seems to be the norm these days. The rain keeps on knocking the robots out, which means there’s a massive queue of cars at every single robot in Johannesburg. Instead of waiting their turn, taxis drive into oncoming traffic and push their way back into the left lane when they come across a car coming from the front. If you live in Jozi, you’ll know what I’m talking about…

An old tannie recently made the news, because she absolutely refused to back down when facing a taxi coming from the front. The taxi driver wanted to push her to the side, but she stood her ground and made him reverse all the way back to the queue. For one fleeting day, she was the hero of a nation.

Thing is, I don’t think it’s just the taxis these days.

A huge part of the N14 is being dug up at the moment and the driving on display in the late afternoon and early morning is appalling.

Drivers are warned at least one kilometre in advance that the lanes are merging, but still you get the fools who push through to the very end and force their way in front of those who have patiently waited their turn.

But those people are lightweights measured against the idiots who drive past on the left hand side, on the gravel. You may think you’re smart and that you’re not hurting anyone by flying past in your bakkie at 50km/h, but just stop and think for a second. What happens when you drive on a gravel road? Have you ever seen the dust cloud behind you? On a gravel road it doesn’t matter, but next to the N14 you’re basically just kicking up dust and stones, which, inevitably, ends up chipping someone’s windscreen. That poor oke now has to deal with his insurance, which means he’s going to spend hours on the phone talking to an automated voice system. All of that, just so you can get home a few minutes quicker than all the fools who actually obey the law.

In my mind, this behavior is just as bad as that showcased by taxis. It’s nothing more than a general disregard of the rules and it’s getting so bad that I sometimes wonder whether I shouldn’t just give in to peer pressure and try it for myself.

I won’t, because I’m fairly calm behind the wheel. Over the years I’ve learned to keep calm and just enjoy whatever discussion is taking place on 702.

But, the one thing that gets my blood boiling to the point where I want to get my wagging finger out, is intersection blocking.

I have this thing where I wait until there’s a space for me, even if the light is green, simply because I don’t want to block other guys when the robot turns red again. If you get caught in that situation, you’re blocking traffic from all sides, which just slows the road down for everyone.

That’s why I get furious when I wait my turn, cross the road when there’s space, only to see a long line of vehicles right behind me. That always leaves me wondering why I even bothered in the first place. Why bother when it just doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things?