According to statistics released last month by City of Cape Town resilience officer, Capetonians spend whooping 40 days per year on the road alone; that is 2 months (60 less 20 days) of every 12 months. That to me is a lot of time to spend just on traffic and what’s worse is news that over 45,000 vehicles are licenced by the provincial traffic department in a year. That means more traffic stress to deal with each time you travel.
With more and more people moving into the Mother city, the need for one’s safety and sophistication on the ever busy roads of Cape Town has increased tremendously. Here are 8 hacks on how to maneuver on Cape Town roads and overcome traffic stress.
- PLAN YOUR TRIPS
You need to coordinate your trip and know the best route for easy navigation, regardless of how near or far your journey would be, knowing how to get there before leaving from your base is very essential to avoid driving amiss or going the wrong direction which will eventually cost you more money and time; take a little while to plan that visit, meeting, road-trips, sight-seeing before moving. This is age of technology, there are already lots of driver Apps to help you navigate efficiently, like the CoPilot GPS or Taxify, simply download them on your phone if your car currently has none, learn to make use of it while driving and you will sure be taken to your destination hitch-free.
- CHECK-OUT EARLY
To overcome the traffic jam that now suffix the City, a result of possible in prosperity in the city, leading to more people buying cars, the best possible action is to leave home early; early enough to give you time and peace of mind on the road as this will take away the temptation to be in a rush. Whether you are going to or from work, school or a meeting, it is best to travel when the traffic is relatively free, usually in the morning before 6a.m. and from 7pm when the roads are decongested. Another off-peak traffic period could be between 11a.m. to 3.p.m.
- USE A MyCiTi BUS
With high rising cost of running a private transport in the City, using MyCiti bus to get to your work, meeting, school can be cost effective (saves time and money) from a business perspective. Fares are based on Distance travelled, no matter how many times you change from one route to another. The best part of this transport mode is that it is convenient, punctual in schedule running a comprehensive time table. What you need to move is a myconnect card sold for R35, load money into it, tap ‘IN’ and you are on the go, but remember to tap ‘OUT’ before you alight for you are penalized if you didn’t.
- USE OF BIKES
When you know your route whether on motor bike or bicycle, you can be sure to dodge many statics on traffic and still get to your destination smoothly. That gridlock does not affect bikes as happen vehicles; it can be a swift way of making your moves, especially some quick short ones around town. The riding is great fun because you exercise.
- DO NOT DRIVE BEHIND COMMERCIAL BUSES
It is often said that taxi drivers are the same everywhere in the world. But commercial mini-bus drivers (taxis) are a big trouble to avoid when driving on busy Cape Town roads; they stop anywhere and whenever to pick up passengers without any prior notice to other road users. You can be struck or stuck in traffic for a long time when this happens and because vehicles are on course and moving on the other line of the road, it becomes difficult to divert and change course if you’re following on close range, pressure of which has led to many accidents. They usually ‘hustle’ on the left side of the road to make easy and quick pull over, notice them on time and avoid following on tandem.
- DON’T OVERSPEED
‘Speed kills’, kills fastest and destroys, avoid over-speeding the traffic limits; use the traffic signs to monitor your current and limit your speed to not exceed them on every road and at robots. Observe traffic lights at each robot and know your turns at stop signs and intersections before moving to avoid chaos. Never beat the robot. Also you incur traffic fines each time you break the rules as Cape Town roads operate modern cameras and traffic facilities that can figure you out quickly. DRIVE SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY, you will get there, save lives.
- NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE
‘If you drink and drive, you’re a killer,’ simple, since brain becomes slow and cannot function at full capacity when you take alcoholic beverages; it isn’t a joking matter when you drink more than you’re required. The leading cause of traffic penalties (If you’re lucky) a jail term, accidents and destruction, you know it! Be wise, it is a wrong lifestyle to indulge.
- ENSURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH PETROL
Nothing can be more disappointing and troubling than when you have your journey cut short or disrupted in the middle. Getting stuck on traffic due to an empty tank can also be highly embarrassing. You need to assess your fuel and evaluate if it can take you through your journey. If not please top up before it becomes too late. Also check your break system and make sure your car is in good order before hitting the road. This has been the cause of many robberies, hijackings and theft of motor vehicles along highways, sometimes leading to a very sad end. It is better to make sure your car is active and serviced. Do this regularly to avert possibilities of a break-down.
PHOTO: File photo