Rules of the Road
Learning South Africa's Rules of the Road is a vital part of getting your K53 Licence
The driver must have full control of the vehicle and have an unobstructed view of the road ahead.
The rule of the road is: Drive on the left side of the road Don't endanger oncoming traffic by encraoching onto the right hand sife of the road. Over take other vehicles on their right side only if:
- it is safe to do so
- it is not prohibited by a road sign or marking
- you may drive on the right-hand side of a one-way road
On divided roads, don't drive over the dividing space or barrier except at an intersection or opening where it is nor prohibited by a road sign or traffic officer.
- 60 km/h on urban roads (town or city)
- 100 km/h on rural and national roads (excluding freeways)
- 120 km/h on freeways
- 80 km/h for vehicles/combinations over 9000kg
- 100 km/h for busses and minibusses conveying passengers
- First make sure it is safe to overtake
- Pass to the right of the vehicle you are overtaking
- Don't endanger oncoming traffic
- Don't pass too close to the other vehicle
- Make sure you are clear of the other vehicle before returning to the left side of the road
- When passing a stationary bus, keep a lookout for people moving away from the bus
- On freeways, only in the far right lane, you may flash the vehicle in front of you to indicate that you want to overtake. It should then move over for you to overtake
Note: you may not stay in that lane if it is safe to move over even if you are already traveling at the given speed limit. The other driver might have an emergency that you would be unaware of.
You may pass on the left when it is safe to do so:
- on a one urban way road wide enough for two vehicles to drive next to each other
- if the vehicle you are passing is turning right
- on a two-way urban road with two or more lanes traveling in the same direction
Don't drive on the verge of a shoulder to overtake a car on the left.
Don't drive on the left of an edge line marking to overtake on the left.
If it will create a hazard to any vehicles, people or property a vehicle stopped at a pedestrian crossing by crossing a solid line When approaching the crest of a hill or rise on a curve If your view of the road is obstructed -Theobove three rules don't apply if:
- The road is wide enough to overtake without encroaching onto the right-hand side of the road
- You are on a one way road
keep as far left as is safe to do. Don't accelerate while being overtaken If you are driving on the right side of the road, and a vehicle behind indicates that he wants to pass, carefully move over to the left hand lane. You may drive on the left hand shoulder of a single lane raod between sunrise and sunset to allow other vehicles to pass if it is safe to do so, and other vehicles are visible for 150m.
- Don't straddle the lane lines
- Change lanes only when necessary and safe to do so
- Signal early enough before changing lanes
- The last action before changing lanes is to check the blind spot
Stop for pedestrians on or entering a pedestrian crossing Don't block the traffic flow when:
- entering an intersection
- crossing a traffic lane
Keep as far left as possible adjust your speed to merge into the traffic flow safely.
Give way to approaching traffic when about to turn Keep as far as possible to the right of the lane you are in to allow other cars to pass on your left. Turn accross the centre line only if there is a clear space in oncoming traffic. Keep to the left of any traffic island in the intersection and comply with road signs Cross the centre line of the cross street before turning right, unless you are turning into another one way street.
Always signal your intention, using hand signals, electric or mechanical indicators or stop lamps, before:
- suddenly reducing speed
- turning to the left or right
- changing lanes
- moving to the left or the right of the road
Allow enough time to warn other so they can react if necessary
Make sure your signals are clearly visible.
Passengers are permitted on the back of a truck or bakkie if the sides of the rear body are:
- 350 mm above the seating surface
- 900mm above the standing surface
This does not apply to a worker being transported in a working capacity
Don't drive or sit in the driver's seat with the engine running if you
- under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a narcotic drug
- have a concentration of alcohol in your blood of 0.05g or more per 100ml
Vehicles not allowed on freeways
- Animal Drawn Vehicles
- Pedal Cycles
- Motor Cycles of 50cm3 or less
- Electrically powered pedal and motorcycles
- Motor Tricycles and quadricycles
- Tractors, except when doing freeway maintenance
- Special vehicles of 230kg or less, designed for disabled people
Actions not allowed on Freeways (Does not apply to traffic officers on duty, or persons involved with emergency, rescue salvage, construction, maintenance etc)
- Stopping a vehicle, except in a designated stopping area
- Hand signals, except in emergencies
- Alighting from the vehicle, except
- when acting in an emergency
- within a designated stopping or parking area
At or opposite an excavation where you will endanger other traffic Inside, on or closer than 6m to:
- a subway
- a bridge
- a section of a street that has been narrowed
- a tunnel
Where it is prohibited by a road sign On the right hand side of a street, facing oncoming traffic Alongside or opposite another vehicle where the road surface is less than 9m wide Within the railway reserve at a railway crossing Where the vehicle could be a danger or obstruction to traffic Wtihin 9m of a pedestrian crossing, on the appraoch side, except to allow pedestrians to cross On a freeway except.
- in a designated parking or stopping area
- in accordance with a road sign or traffic officer
- for a cause beyond your control
- When instructed to do so by a traffic officer or a road sign
- When signaled to do so by someone leading or driving animals
- When signaled to do so by a scholar patrol
- If you are involved in a collision
Definition: Stopping a vehicle with or without occupants for a longer period than is necessary to unload goods or passengers. Always apply the handbrake to prevent your parked vehicle from moving without control.
You may not park
- In any no stopping area
- Where it is forbidden by a road sign or traffic officer
- In a pedestrian mall or lane
- closer than:
- 1m to the road edge (or on the roadway) outside an urban area,
- 1.5m on either side of a fire hydrant or opposite one,
- 5m to an urban intersection
- With the outer edge of any kerbside wheel more than 450 mm into the roadsign unless allowed by a roadsign
- On, across or partially on
- a traffic island,
- a sidewalk or pavement,
- a driveway or vehicle entrance,
- the activating mechanism of a traffic light
- Where the vehicle would obscure a road sign or marking
- On a narrow road less than 5.5m wide unless:
- in a oneway street,
- where a road sign allows parking
Give way to pedestrians who are on or about to enter the roadway at a pedestrian crossing.
The following constitute abandoned vehicles:
- parked Illegally
- parked in a no-stopping area
- parked for more than 7 days in the same place on an urban road or at a testing station
- parked for more than 24 hours outside an urban area
- likekely to cause danger or obstruction
- found on a public road without a valid registration number
- whose owner cannot be identified
Abaondoned and illegally parked vehicles may be removed and impounded by a traffic officer.
Allow for at least 2 seconds of following distance (3 seconds for heavy vehicles) Increase following distance when visibility is poor or when being tailgated The stopping distance will be increased when traveling fast, when the road surface is wet or slippery, or when heavily loaded.
Reverse only if it is safe to do so, and for as short a distance as is necessary.
- not hamper the drivers ability to drive safe
- not take control of the steering wheels or controls
- not get in or out of the vehicle while it is moving
- not have any part of the body protruding from the vehicle
- each have 380mm of seat width
Sit so that you have complete control of the vehicle and a full view of the road and traffic ahead. Move off from a parked position only if it is safe to do so and without interfering with the flow of traffic Don't have any part of your body protruding from the vehicle except to give hand signals or for parking, examening or testing the vehicle.
All vehicle and truck tyres must have a tread across the entire width and around the entire circumference of the tyre that:
- is at least 1mm deep, or
- is not level with the tyre tread indicator if one is fitted
- does not show any canvas fabric or steel belting
- is not in a dangerous condition
All treads and wall sides must be free of:
- breaks or cuts longer than 25mm or 10% of the tyre width, or deep enough to reach the inner cords
- any lump or bulge
Motor cycles may not use retreaded tyres.
- Maximum distance apart is 3.5m
- The towed vehicle must be securely attached and under control
- The towed vehicle does not need to be under the control of a licensed driver if:
- The steerable wheels are clear of the road
- The vehicle is towed by a device that controls the steering
- If the vehicle is being controlled by a driver, that driver must hold a valid license for the code of vehicle
- Use a solid bar to tow a vehicle if the brakes are defective
- Don't exceed 30km/h when towing, unless a solid tow bar is being used
- A vehicle carrying passengers may not be towed at a speed exceeding 30 km/h unless it is a semi trailer
Give way immediately to any official vehicle sounding a warning device. (siren, bell, etc) Example: ambulance, fire engine, traffic police
Dont let your engine run if:
- it is emitting excessive smoke
- the vehicle is unattended
- the vehicle is not under the drivers control
- if you are filling up with fuel or the tank is not closed
Dont move a vehicle along a sidewalk (pavement or verge), not even by pushing it.
Don't deposit petrol, fuel, oil, grease, ash or any other flammable or objectionable matter on the road surface.
You must obtain the approval of the provincial MEC/local authority before organising any race, speed trial or sports meeting on a public road.
- Don't unnecessarily obstruct the free flow of traffic
- Don't leave any object on the road that could endanger or cause damage to any traffic
- Don't hoot except for safety reasons
- Your hooter must be audible for at least 90m
- The tone of the hooters pitch may not vary
Don't operate an excessively noisy vehicle (eg. broken silencer) unless under temporary and exceptional circumstances.
Don't in any way endanger or cause damage to other road users on to the road surface.
If you are involved in a collision you
- Immediatley stop your vehicle
- See if anyone is injured and how serious it is
- Assist the injured where possible
- See what damage has been caused
- Give the following details if requested by a person having reasonable grounds for requesting it:
- your driving license,
- your name and address,
- the vehicle owners name and address,
- the vehicle registration number
Must Not: Take intoxicating liquor or narcotic drugs before reporting the collision, unless administered by a medical practitioner. If someone has been injured or killed: Summon a police officer immediatley.
Moving of vehicles:
- Don't remove or move the vehicles unless: a. it's completely obstructing traffic flow and it's position is clearly marked on the road surface
- you are authorised to do so by a traffic official.
At least one double-sided red triangle must be carried in all vans, bakkies, trucks, buses, trailers and caravans. Where a vehicle is stationary on a roadway for any reason, the triangle must be displayed on the road at least 45m behind the vehicle.
Driving Lights Switch the headlights on
- Switch the headlights on:
- between sunset and sunrise
- whenever visibility is not clear for at least 150m ahead
Switch on your parking lights at night when your vehicle is standing:
- on an urban road, outside demarcated parking space,
- on a public road 12m or more from an illuminated street lamp
Never drive with only the parking lights on
- Emergency Warning Flashers
- Use emergency warning flashers when
- When traveling in an emergency situation,
- When stationary in a hazardous position
Are only allowed for official purposes(ambulance, firefighting, etc) Doctors, vets and breakdown vehicles may also operate spotlights.
People herding animals must carry a red flag or a red light 150m ahead and behind the herd.
Goods must be safely inside or securely fastened to the vehicle
Goods must not:
- obscure the drivers view in any direction
- touch the road
Maximum dimensions allowed:
Up to half the vehicle heigt when carried on the roof of a motor car, except bicycles carried on the roof.
Width, including vehicle:
- vehicles less than 12 000 kg - 2.5m wide
- vehicles more than 12 000 kg - 2.6m wide
- Drivers and all passengers must wear seatbelts if they are fitted
- Where no seatbelt is fitted on the front passenger seat, children up to the age of 14 must sit in the back seat
- If seatbelts have been removed, the vehicle may not be used on a public road
- If there is a vacant seat which has a seatbelt, no one may occupy a seat that is not fitted with one
- You may unfasten your seatbelt while parking or reversing
- Don't hold or operate a handheld communication device while driving
- You may use such a device if it is not being held in your hand or any other part of your body
- Don't operate, enter, climb on or tamper with a motor vehicle without the consent of the person lawfully in charge of the vehicle
- Don't alter the chassis or engine number without the written consent of the registering authority
It is an offense to drive: