How to Approach Intersections During Power Failures
Load shedding and power failures are not uncommon in Overstrand and can cause traffic congestions that result in motorists getting frustrated and being less considerate towards one another.
In Overstrand, this phenomenon is particularly evident when the traffic lights between Hawston and the Gateway Intersection are “dead”.
In principle, every driver should know that an intersection that is normally regulated by traffic lights immediately becomes a four-way stop when there is a power failure: No additional stop signs are required.
Many drivers, however, do not follow this rule and the resultant chaos caused at an intersection can lead to accidents that could have been avoided.
To safely get through an intersection during power outages when the traffic lights are not working, do the following:
• Slow down as you approach the intersection, even if it looks like there are no other vehicles around.
• Come to a complete stop and give way to vehicles that were at the intersection before you.
• Remember to expect traffic from all directions (approaching and from the rear), including those that want to turn either left or right.
• Do not assume because it is your turn to go, that every other driver will respect this rule. Double-check every lane before you go.
This is especially true for drivers turning right across the intersection, as other drivers tend to pay less attention to this lane.
• If you do start to go but see another driver coming or about to cross the intersection at the same time, rather allow that driver to go than refusing to budge and risking a collision or a road-rage incident.
• If there is a driver that does not stop and charges through the intersection, irrespective of whether it is their turn to go, rather than getting upset, let them go: This way, unnecessary altercations can be avoided.
• Always be mindful of pedestrians and cyclists: They have as much a right as vehicles to cross intersections.
• Watch out for reckless drivers that overtake in the emergency lane as they will, eventually, need to move back onto the road.
This was echoed by Overstrand Deputy Mayor, Lindile Ntsabo, who said: “In essence, when traffic lights are out due to a power failure, always remain vigilant: Check, double-check and check again before you move and while you are crossing an intersection.”
Overstrand Deputy Mayor Lindile Ntsabo
Councillor responsible for Protection Services and Crime Prevention
C: 081 491 0949