A self-experiment. Strictly abiding the traffic rules for 1 month!
South Africans mostly stretch the traffic rules across the limit, it is more a feeling you have, how fast you can drive. If a road feels like 100 km/h but the sign says 50, it is ok (as long as there is no speed trap standing in the way)! Signs want to assist you, rather than dictate terms…you just go with the flow.
But what changed me? Why this experiment? What made me want to be different?
Quite easy. Money. With our new GPS-Tracker in the car, the possibility arised to earn points with good driving and up to 50% cash back for petrol. So I gave it a try.
What happened to me during this time? Let me explain it to you with the…
10 Steps Of Recognition:
You realize, that there are more than 2 speed limit signs in the whole town (accompanied by outcries like:”What? 50? Here? Since when?”)
Falling back into old patterns, overtaking trucks because they feel too slow (still…they are all exceeding the speed limit)
Overtaking a even slower vehicle with the maximum permitted speed, while ten speeding cars try to crawl into your boot, is quite scary!
(Also called obstinacy) No, you are not making space for that car behind you. It is driving fast enough.
I am so much better than all of you!
You get angry when cars behind you start to tailgate (making use of sign language is very common)
Anger transforms into spitefulness. The “MUHAHAHA”- feeling gets stronger when a tailgater cannot pass.
Everybody hates you.
You realize that you are alone. You can’t change the world.
Your gas consumption goes down by 1l/100km and you get back 200R for being a traffic obstruction.
Despite all the pain, it did not remain a single month. The first one was very hard. You need a lot of self-confidence to absorb all the hate that is descending upon you by all the other traffic participants.
But in the end you are much more relaxed and you do not reach your destination noticeably later than the others. I think if we all just slow down a bit…inside and on the road…we would still all arrive, but much more happy and much safer!