Really Awful Traffic Rules



South Africa has traffic rules
Not taught in any driving schools,
The first is: ‘All but I are fools
  Who get behind a wheel’;
The driving motto is, ‘Me first!’
Get in the way, you will be cursed;
Though normal rules they have reversed,
  Your place they have to steal.

And if a light should turn to red,
It’s something, through, that must be sped,
As long as nothing strikes you dead –
  Why stop if no one’s there?
The days are gone when it was found
A cop, as if from hole in ground,
Appeared, and promptly would be bound
  Your summons to declare.

The intersection solid line
Does not a place to stop define,
But is a spot where all incline
  To straddle, and then creep;
Pedestrians, then, have no room
And, crossing, soon may meet their doom
From cars with right-of-way that zoom
  From other road, three-deep.

And solid lines that mid-road run
Are overrun by everyone
While doing much more than a ton –
  It’s regularly seen;
Though line is on blind turn or rise,
Across it, overtaker flies,
And though, quite often, someone dies,
  No lesson it has been.

A change of lanes by her or him,
Is done abruptly, on a whim,
At awful risk to life and limb
  To follow ‘Me first!’ rule;
No matter if the gap’s too small,
They force their way in, one and all,
And cause close call upon close call –
  One brakes, or hits the fool.

At multi-tasking, some astound;
Those texting while they drive are found,
But best of all, I will be bound
  (I saw, so I believe),
A driver with her iPad there
Who took a selfie she could share,
But first, in mirror, did her hair!
  (Her car did, rather, weave.)

Then, roads are full of minibus-
Type taxis, which create a fuss
And much desire to rant and cuss;
  One dreads each one to see!
Stop anywhere, with warning nil;
With twenty-load, crawl up a hill;
Speed down next incline fit to kill …
  (And do kill, frequently!)

And if arrests of them are made
They come in hundreds to blockade
The streets until the cops all fade,
  Or know the reason why!
The cops, then, easier pickings seek –
Those who are less inclined to freak
And take their fines in manner meek –
  Just guess who? You and I!

Another type that will amuse,
And, on occasion, may abuse,
If t’buy, or give, one does not choose;
  At traffic lights they trade;
All in the time ‘twixt red and green
These merry fellows can be seen –
Show goods or mime the ‘hungry’ scene,
  They seem to have it made.

Roadside sales

Donations, though, and doing deals
On fruit or veg – for meals on wheels? –
Do need a bit more time, one feels,
  So when lights change one sticks
While some poor sucker sorts his change,
Or browses through the trading range;
That people hoot does not seem strange
  At these rushed sell/beg tricks!

Road heavies

Then, ‘heavies’ must receive their due,
They’re many more than just a few –
More, sometimes, than the cars in view! –
  They do just as they please;
They also do not fear arrest,
And in truck/car collision test
Just guess which one will come out best?
  Up one, they put the breeze.

And if the roads you want to use
Beware of those all high on booze,
Or elderly, and in a snooze,
  Or learners, at a crawl;
Pedestrians who do a dash,
Smash-grabbers, who will swipe your cash,
And hijackers: a lot more brash,
  For they will take it all!

So to conclusion one is led
That if you simply stay in bed,
It fairly safely can be said
  You may survive alive;
Thus, traffic rule that is the top,
Avoiding every traffic cop,
And which all driving risks will stop? …
  Give up attempts to drive!

© Colonialist (WordPress) December 2015
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About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies.
This entry was posted in Africa, Colonialist, Humorous rhyme, Really Awful Rhyme, Rhyme and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Really Awful Traffic Rules

  1. Reading your long but most entertaining ‘diatribe’, makes me realise how very much I don’t miss the traffic woes of driving in South Africa. 🙂

    Like

  2. Tom Merriman says:

    Do you know, Col, I had this very thought the other day?! The whole thing!
    You sum drivers up perfectly. (Obviously, I’m not like them at all… well, I hope not, anyway!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hoop julle het die allermooiste nuwe jaar.

    Op my ouderdom begin ek nou al deel van die probleem word.

    Like

  4. calmgrove says:

    My favourite quote is from an Italian about traffic lights: “green means go; amber means go as well; red is merely a suggestion.”

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

    Like

  5. Patrecia (with an E) says:

    Well said my friend, but I sadly fear That traffic like that is also here In Bulgaria it seems there are no rules Just lots of stupid stupid fools. On snow and ice there is not a care Just as long as soon they will get there So kill a few along the way There’s always more another day. Blind bends just pose another thrill To take the risk to them is brill But for the car in other direction There really is no protection So each day when on the road Just say a prayer to our Good Lord That we might a journey drive And hopefully we will survive

    Like

  6. Stephanie Haahjem says:

    Brought to mind the very first thing my Dad taught me when I got behind the wheel of his old Wolsley to learn to drive. He said, “Remember one thing, EVERYONE else on the road is a silly bugger! Don’t only watch the idiot in front or behind you, watch the idiots in front or behind them too!” I give him all credit for surviving as a motorist thus far!

    Like

  7. de Wets Wild says:

    I bet this could be one of your longest verses Colonialist! Our awful driving culture sure is a terrific muse! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I too have given up driving, though not in fear of French drivers – who these days are mostly very skilful.

    I admire your skill with rhyme and rhythm.

    Like

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