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Email: jvb@trafficguy.co.za


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Johann von Bargen
'The Traffic Guy'
Traffic Information
Here you'll find the latest traffic information for the KwaZulu-Natal roads. Remember to tune in to East Coast Radio each morning & afternoon to hear Johann's up-to-the-minute traffic reports.

If you have any questions about the KZN traffic, please go here.
Driving Tips: Following Distance

An easy way to calculate your following distance is as follows:

  1. When the vehicle directly ahead of you passes a fixed point, e.g. light pole or fire hydrant, say to yourself: one thousand and one, one thousand and two
  2. You should be able to complete these two phrases before you reach that same point with your car.

How about doing a quick check to see that your following distance is sufficient? In other words, if the car in front of you stops dead - CAN YOU STOP IN TIME? If fearless Fred pushes in front of you and occupies your following distance - don't panic or get annoyed. Decelerate slightly for a few seconds only and regain your following distance. It's as easy as that.

Did you know that a safe following distance of at least two seconds gives you enough space and time to react in the case of emergency? And if you are driving on a public road and you happen to be behind a large truck or a bus, please pull back a little bit, increase your following distance. That will give you more visibility around the side of the large vehicle in front of you.

Emergency Situations: Brake Failure

Total brake failure usually happens when you're braking hard to stop suddenly.

  1. Pump the brake pedal fast and hard. This may restore enough brake fluid too slow or top the car.
  2. You'll know in 3 or 4 pumps whether the brakes are going to work.
  3. At the same time, apply the handbrake hard. (Hold handbrake button in) and "pump" the handbrake, without locking the back wheel for too long.
  4. Change down to lowest gear (this helps to slow the car by using the engine's braking power).
  5. Stay aware of traffic so that you can still steer and swerve if you need to.
  6. If necessary, rub the wheels against the left curb or steer into bushes or something else soft to reduce speed.
  7. If a collision cannot be avoided, steer for a sideswipe rather than a head-on.
  8. When you no longer need to change direction, switch off the engine.
Traffic Circle

Thank you for taking the time to log onto my website. Your support is highly appreciated. I have been asked by hundreds of people to help them understand the safest way to negotiate a traffic circle.
Very briefly, here goes:

Let's start off by talking about the procedure when approaching a Y-junction. Should you wish to take the left fork, you use the left indicator. Should you wish to take the right fork, you use the right indicator. It is as easy as that (and it's very similar for traffic circles). As you approach the traffic circle, it should not be forgotten that you yield to vehicles approaching from your right, who are already in that circle.

Single Lane Traffic Circle (and you have just entered)
As you approach the first exit / entrance, you apply the Y-junction theory. Left indicator to go out at the first exit or right indicator to remain in the traffic circle (now everybody behind you and those waiting to enter in front of you will know what your intentions are. ie, either to exit, or move further around the traffic circle. The same procedure will apply when you approach any other exit or entrance in that circle.

Two Lane Traffic Circle
The procedure, if you are in the left hand lane, of a two lane traffic circle, is identical to a single lane traffic circle. One extra point to remember, there is no law that says if you enter a traffic circle from position one (6 o' clock - see diagram) that you have to take the exit at position 2 (9 o' clock) or position 3 (12 o' clock). If your destination takes you further around that traffic circle, e.g. position 4 (3 o' clock), you have every right to do so.

If you enter a circle and wish to use the right hand or inside lane, you are quite entitled to do so, however now you have an extra responsibility. When you wish to exit that traffic circle from the right hand lane, it will be your responsibility to make sure that you do not cut in front of anyone else on your left hand side (in other words in the left hand lane). Remember, they do have a right to carry on around the traffic circle to reach their destination. They do not have to take the exit with you.

Hope this helps - Safe Driving.

PS: Any further queries, questions, problems, information or data required - please contact me on using the contact form or email me at jvb@trafficguy.co.za

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