Friday March 2 2018

Driving habits you should drop

 Drivers exude the highest degree of indiscipline

Such drivers exude the highest degree of indiscipline and drive with a rare degree of impunity that includes abusing pedestrians as well as pushing them off the walkways into the gutters. FILE PHOTO 

By Othman Semakula

Driving is a good experience but of course it has all those annoying innuendos that you will only meet on the road.
Ever tried to understand why someone decides to drive on the pavement? Right, it is something unexplainable not matter the urgency. It is not only annoying but dangerous.
Such drivers exude the highest degree of indiscipline and drive with a rare degree of impunity that includes abusing pedestrians as well as pushing them off the walkways into the gutters. This, according to JB Kakande, a special hire driver in Kampala, is not only cynical but tells of the character of a person and the utter disregard for traffic rules.
Such annoying and dangerous traits, he says, include but are not limited to driving on shoulders and making U-turns in the middle of the road.
Below are some of the annoying and dangerous traits that you must avoid while driving.

Driving on shoulders and pavements
This is one aspect of bad driving that you will find on almost all roads in and around Kampala. It is common during rush hours where cars get entangled in heavy traffic jams.
“There are those who feel they cannot wait for the jam to move (sic). So they will try to drive on the pavement or on the shoulders. This is dangerous. And I always wish for such people to be arrested or for their cars to fall in a ditch,” says, Anthony Mulondo, who has to brave the Kampala-Entebbe Road traffic jam at least from Monday through the week to Friday.
Mulondo live in Seguku, Wakiso District and he says it is common for people to drive on shoulders, especially between Zzana and around Roofings in Lubowa
Making a U-turn
While moving on Mukwano Road last month, a boda boda rider rammed into a government car that was attempting to make a U-turn in the middle of the road.
The driver could just afford a “sorry” before he sped off towards Kibuli through the road leading to CID headquarters.
Meanwhile the boda boda rider lay in agony with some parts of his motorcycle smashed to nothing.
This is a common occurrence and where it involves an accident it mostly the motorist in the wrong.
“Any driver making a U-turn on the road is always in the wrong and that is a traffic offense,” says Amos Kariuki, a driving school instructor.
This, he says, is a common occurrence on Ugandan roads that must be harshly punished under the traffic guidelines.

Busting lanes
According to Kakande, this is one aspect of driving that gets to people’s nerves and is a major cause of traffic jam and accidents.
“You patiently wait in traffic but there is this particular driver who is no patient. They put on hazard indicators and start cruising through the jam forcing (sic) oncoming cars to squeeze on the other side of the road,” he says.
This, Kakande says, is mostly common on highways such Entebbe or a section of Masaka Road that experience long traffic queues.

Creating multiple lanes
Many drivers, especially during rush hours, tend to create multiple lanes that in most cases result into a traffic gridlock.
This, in most cases happens on roads that are relatively wide and can accommodate a third or fourth lane even when, those lanes are not provided for.
“It is so annoying when someone creates a lane that will ultimately end up in a gridlock. It starts with one car but before you know it a line with so many cars waiting into the queue,” says Mulondo.

Loud exhaust sound
“It is so annoying when some drivers decide to turn into a nuisance. Why do you have to inform everyone on your presence? Is it even allowed for someone to driver around with such loud exhaust sounds,” wonders JB Kakande, a special hire driver in Kampala.
Loud exhaust sounds can either be deliberate or are just a fault, which must be repaired before the car can return to its normal sound. Such noises, according to Kakande, are common among sports car drivers, who will mostly want to make their presence known.

Driving through lights
You have perhaps seen this particular at traffic light points. A driver will drive through the lights at a terrific speed that is not only dangerous for themselves but to other road users. “It is even indiscipline for one to drive beyond 30 kilometres per hour on city streets. But you find someone driving at almost 50 kilometres from say the Internal Affairs roundabout because they want to beat the traffic lights,” says Kariuki and emphasises that traffic police must apprehend such people who drive beyond prescribed speeds.

Dangerous things

Not respecting right of way
“At some point I was knocked inside the roundabout but the driver of the taxi insisted that I was in the wrong. I was only saved by a traffic policewoman,” says Maureen Namatovu, a resident of Kireka who was knocked at the roundabout after Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Failure to grant right of way, according to Kariuki is a common traffic abuse that exposes drivers on the road. “Exercise patient and let the one who has the right of way to pass,” he says.
Improper use of indicators
Have you ever driven behind a car that improperly uses indicators? It is something that is not only annoying but dangerous.
“Someone decides to indicate when they are branching off the road. This is dangerous especially those coming after you. They are subjected to sudden brakes that they are not aware of” says Kakande.

Unnecessary honking
You have perhaps sat in a car, especially in a taxi honks right from the point of loading upto when you alight. This is one irritating behaviour that is common among taxi driver. “You are at traffic lights and they have just turned green but before you know it there is a driver honking endlessly. Traffic guidelines need to emphasises that you cannot just honk and go away with it. It has to have a price,” says Amos Kariuki a driving school instructor.

osemakula@ug.nationmedia.com

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