Traffic does strange things to people. Take my aunt for example, a pious woman, who never raises her voice, quotes scripture and hosts cake sales to raise money for the local madressa, but put her in the middle of 5pm weekday traffic and she’s hurling f-words in all directions, the kind of cussing that would make even Joe Pesci blush.
The point is traffic can push even the most passive, mild mannered of people over the edge. Just the other day I cut a Tibetan monk off and he let me know exactly what he thought of my mother. Let’s face it, driving is stressful, unless you’re doing it at 10 in the morning when the roads are all but deserted. But hey, how many times do you actually find yourself driving at 10am? Most times you’re driving when everyone else is driving, which means you have to deal with a variety of idiots who are seemingly hell bent on killing you. While it’s easy to blame your traffic frustrations and the road rage murders you commit as a result on taxi drivers, it’s important they’re only part of the problem. Don’t for a second believe that if a meteorite suddenly burst through the earth’s atmosphere and wiped out your local taxi rank you’re going to be having pleasant motoring days. Oh no, there are still many, many more other irritations out there to ruin your day.
The one thing I can never figure out is why it’s called “rush hour” when traffic is at its slowest. Surely, if everyone is in a hurry to get home, traffic should in theory move along at its quickest, right?
But obviously not everyone is eager to get home. A mate of mine who is full of useless bits of information tells me that the slow movement of traffic during “rush hour” is caused by someone right at the front braking, subsequently causing every one behind him to brake. Of course this happens throughout the city causing those delays that annoy us. Maybe the people who cause the braking chains are exceptionally nervous drivers, or guys who don’t want to go home to their wives and just delaying the agony or perhaps they are just folks who enjoy reading each and every street pole ad. Collisions or breakdowns also commonly cause irritating delays. Although I have a theory about this that I am pretty sure the traffic guy would agree with. You see it’s not so much the actual accident or stationary vehicle that slows down traffic, but rather annoying drivers who have a fascination with things stuck on the freeway. Are our lives that mundane that we will slow down to stare at something that is not moving? I agree with comedian Neil Green who says that if you’re going to be stuck in a two hour traffic jam it better be for a good reason. The morbid curiosity in all of us makes our eyes light up when we see a 25-car pile-up with six fire engines and three helicopters on the scene. Now that’s a worthwhile traffic delay and something worth mentioning at work the next day.
It’s always disappointing when you finally reach the “obstruction” to discover that it’s a broken radiator.
At that point you’re willing to kill the poor bastard on the side of the road.
But wait, here’s a list of other people likely to annoy you the next time you’re in traffic:
The Hazard: I don’t know whether it’s just a Durban thing but lately I’ve noticed an increasing number of idiots who drive with their hazards on for no apparent reason. Every time I see this I wonder whether there’s something I’m missing. Maybe the driver is trying to tell me that he or his car is on fire or maybe there’s a runaway zebra around. But most times the moron is just lost, in which case he should’ve bought a GPS. When taxi drivers drive with their hazards on it’s actually them being thoughtful, a way of saying, “hey, watch out, I’m a hazard!”
The problem with “The Hazard” is that he is unpredictable and might very well be drunk or high.
Death by Phone: You’ve encountered her in traffic time and time again, you know, the chick who is a kak driver as it is, yet insists on having a full on conversation with her boyfriend while you’re behind her. Of course, during this very expressive conversation she totally forgets she is sharing the road with other people and thinks nothing of straying from lane to lane and turning without notice.
Also beware of her uncle “Business on wheels”, the guy who does multimillion-rand deals while driving in traffic. This guy is oblivious to you and everyone else. You can hoot, scream, shout and swear, nothing is going to stop his mobile business meeting.
The Tailgunner: This is the guy who drives up your arse irrespective of how fast you’re going. He insists on staying within centimetres of your rear and behaves as if you’re breaking the law by not driving at 200km/h.
The Flash: He looks for any opportunity to flash his lights. He will flash the car in front of him, flash oncoming traffic to warn motorists of cops and even flash pretty girls on the street corners. There will even be times when he flashes and you will have no idea why he is doing it. Perhaps he thinks we all know Morse code.
Mr Surprise: It’s hard to tell whether his indicators are broken, he is too lazy to use them or maybe he just doesn’t know what that lever on the steering wheel is for.
Keep a safe distance. Anything is possible from this guy.
The Lane Dancer: You have no idea which lane he wants to be in, and neither does he. He will change lanes 25 times on a 100m stretch of road and when he does settle on one he will realise he is in the wrong lane and force his way across yours.
Chaos Cop: The traffic lights are out and it was someone’s genius idea to send a traffic cop to direct things. But instead of making things better, she makes it a whole lot worse. The clueless traffic cop has been wreaking havoc across the city for years. Today is your unlucky day. - Sunday Tribune
The Tibetan monk: was he a little Lama ?
I don’t know anything about the Durban traffic but “man” I enjoyed this article. I was nodding my head all the way to the end of it. I really have a problem with the Tail gunners they make me so angry and believe I m one person who is very understand on the road, but they get to me.
i love that article - it is so true! and when them durban drivers are here in gauteng - omw!!and what about the men who shave or the woman who do their makeup whilst driving??? and let's not forget capetown - scary is all i have to say about them drivers....
i forgot to mention,as a pedestrain,try walk across the road when the man is green,u will die....i have smacked a few cars with my foot shoe and once gave a man a slap across his face through the open window.
Truthful James, wrote
Oh - for some traffic lights instead of robots
The Gecko - you are soooo right. Some people forget to engage the brain when they get behind the wheel or else are just catching up on some sleep. And why does Chaos Cop have to be a "she"?????
The article is hilarious, I salute the author. I never laughed this much, am from Durban as well, hey.
Durban drivers are the worst! i always wait when the traffic light turns green because i am sure that some brainless driver will drive through the red light on the opposite side. it happens almost every day!
Donald, please lighten up mate...
True.i travel to CT,JHB and DBN monthly but find the worst drivers in DBN- general disrespect of traffic rules and aggressive behaviour appear to be the norm in Durban.
The Gecko, wrote
You forgot to mention the "Dead man driving" - he's half dead already, but forgot to stop breathing. Keeps his speed religiously at least 20-40kmh under the speed limit, takes five seconds of more to realize that the robot has switched to green, and of course, insist on driving in the middle or right lane... Pass this guy by any mean possible if you want to preserve your sanity.
and when the robots r not working.....Jhburg,all drivers treat it as a four way stop,one car at a time....durban drivers have no idea how to handle this....so so stupid
Great article. So true of Durban traffic. Spot on!
This article is not crap at all - and if Donald has never experienced this type of driving in Durban, I'd love to know what routes he drives.
Durban traffic is heaven campared to Joburg traffic, there is no real quite time on the roads - except when all the Gautengers invade other provinces during holidays!!
i've visited Dbn from Jhb 4 times in the past 2 years. i almost got myself killed on all 4 occasions at the Umhlanga off-ramps off the N2 because the robots were not working. Dbn drivers don't know how to treat an intersection when the robots don't work. i don't think you can compare Dbn traffic with Jhb traffic at anytime of any day!
What a crap article-not reflective of Durban at all- go back to Cape Town!
and dont forget the ones that texting while driving.
Showing items 1 - 18 of 18