26 Traffic Laws You Didn’t Know About in South Africa
Driving in South Africa is not a precise science. While there are many rules in place on the statute books, very many of them are ignored in daily driving. While the most important traffic rules are quite strictly enforced, such as speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal parking, and having a valid driver’s license and a licensed vehicle, a plethora of other offences are committed on a daily basis without much consequence.
Gumtree SA presents a reminder list of the rules of the road in South Africa. You may have forgotten about these or thought they did not exist due to them being breached on a daily basis.
1. When hiring a car, every driver of the vehicle needs to register with the rental agency as a driver, not just the person in whose name the vehicle is hired.
2. Using a handheld device while driving is against the law.
3. Wearing seatbelts is compulsory.
4. Driving under the influence of alcohol is prohibited. The limits are breath alcohol content of 0.24mg per 1,000 ml, or a blood alcohol limit of 0.05g per 100 ml. A general rule of thumb is not to consume more than one unit of alcohol, which is 10ml of pure alcohol, per hour, for an adult. That equates to 66 per cent of one beer, 75 ml of red while, or 25 ml of whiskey per hour.
5. The speed limit on a national highway is 120 km/h. On urban freeways and other major roads, it’s 100 km/h, and 60 km/h in built-up areas.
6. When entering a roundabout (or circle), always give way to the traffic on the right, and always indicate before you exit.
7. It is illegal to have children, or an animal, on your lap when you drive.
8. It is illegal to park on the opposite side of the road facing oncoming traffic.
9. It is compulsory to immediately give way to an ambulance or police car.
10. It is illegal to travel without your driver’s license.
11. You may not drive on the shoulder (in the yellow lane) of a public road.
12. Hooters are only allowed to be used on public roads on the grounds of safety.
13. No vehicle is permitted on a public road if it is making excessive noise that can be remedied by reasonable care.
14. Drivers must yield right of way to pedestrians at a pedestrian crossing.
15. Street racing or speed trials on a public road are forbidden unless the consent of the traffic authorities is given.
16. No vehicle is permitted to emit smoke on a public road.
17. No vehicle may stop on the side of a public road except in the case of an emergency or a breakdown.
18. No vehicle may park with its left-hand wheels more than 45 centimetres from the roadway curb.
19. Spinning a wheel on a public road is prohibited, as is dragging a wheel on a public road, as this falls into the damage to public roads domain.
20. No person shall operate a tractor, a vehicle drawn by a horse, a pedal cycle, or a motorbike with a motor smaller than 50cc on a freeway.
21. No vehicle is allowed to stop on a freeway, unless in the case of an emergency
22. No pedestrians are allowed on a freeway either, and neither is hitchhiking on a freeway permitted.
23. The maximum speed limit for vehicles weighing over 9 tonnes is 80 km/h.
24. The maximum speed limit for a bus is 100 km/h.
25. The maximum speed limit for a minibus carrying paying passengers is 100 km/h.
26. When towing a vehicle, the maximum length of rope, chain, or tow bar is 3.5 metres.
South Africa is in the process of introducing a demerit system where each driver is allocated 12 points per year with offences resulting in points deductions. Serious offences, like speeding and driving under the influence, can result in automatic suspension. Find yourself a safe and affordable car today in South Africa.