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How to behave at traffic lights
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How to behave at traffic lights

Skipping a red robot is not only negligent; it puts you, as well as other road users, in grave danger. The justice system took a firm stance in 2009 when Sizwe Shezi, a Durban machine operator, was sentenced to 18 months in jail after he overtook three cars in the turning lane and jumped a red light. This unfortunately has not curtailed offenders, as there are still many road accidents caused by this type of transgression.

The Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) cautions all drivers to be extra vigilant when approaching traffic lights,"Anyone who is negligent enough to skip a red robot has no regard for their and other road users safety and should face the full might of the law" the AA said.

The AA reminds you of some important things to bear in mind when at an intersection:

Obey traffic signals

Be careful: even if the traffic light is green and it is your turn to cross, check that the coast is clear and there are no oncoming cars

Do not take risks: if you realize that the traffic light will turn red by the time you reach the intersection, stop and wait for the light to change.

When traffic lights are not working, remember that the first vehicle to arrive has priority

Keep at least a 3 second following distance between you and the vehicle in front

Do not go over lane markings or change lanes when crossing an intersection

Always be aware of pedestrians at intersection

And keep an eye out for taxis as they frequently stop abruptly at intersections to offload passengers

This article first appeared in the AASA website aasa@aasa.co.za