Monday, September 22, 2008

South African Transport compared to Irish Transport

The first thing you discover about South Africa's Roads is that they drive on the left hand side. I did not know this before coming but apparently South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zambabwe all drive on the left. I just wonder what happens at border crossings with other African countries - is there some sort of Scalextrix skid chicane where they speed from one side to the other? The other thing that I found unusual was the 4 way stop sign. Rather than have a roundabout for crossroads without traffic lights (which are called robots for some reason!) they have stop signs at all 4 junctions and it works too. Everyone comes up and gives way to other cars until its their turn.

I can just imagine the carnage that such a system would create in Ireland where the word 'Yield' used at junctions seems to actually mean 'I will Yield to no car'. In fact in Ireland traffic lights go straight from red to green in order to avoid people jumping the yellow lights. This is because when going back from Green to Red the sequence seems to be:

Green = Go
Yellow = Go very fast
Red = I can still make it!

In South Africa everybody is required to pass a driving test and have a full licence in order to drive. In Ireland you can drive by yourself on a Provisional Licence. This means that in Ireland you can drive your car to the driving test, take the test and fail (basically be told that you are unfit to drive a car) then get back into your car and drive off!

The last thing about South Africa compared to Ireland is that here 4 wheel drive is required - especially for the game drives and other dirt roads. As such quite a lot of people have 4x4 especially toyotas. In ireland - especially South Dublin quite a lot of people also have 4x4 for such arduous duties as taking the kids to school, overtaking on the inside lane and looking down on other people in normal cars. I think the only time they put their SUVs into 4 wheel drive mode is when they are backing onto the grass for a music festival.

1 comment:


Man City WON 6 - 0! They beat Portsmouth with goals from: Jo 13, Dunne 20, Robinho 57, Wright-Phillips 68, Evans 78, and Gelson 83.