Broken Traffic Light 101

Traffic lights are put on the road to organize the traffic flow and keep it accident-free as far as possible. They were designed to systematize the way in which people act at an intersection and were made to reduce accidents… So what happens if it suddenly isn’t there anymore?

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A broken light can be the cause of many accidents and without the aid of this device, busy intersections will revert to a scene of general chaos and mayhem. How could such an important part of our roads be breaking down then? Is it due to improper maintenance or lack of quality control? Is it fair to place all the blame on the government?

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Who Is To Blame?

Many traffic lights cease to function due to the complications of having severe weather conditions. Areas that experience snow, wind, and/or downpours of rain every year in wintertime are more inclined to malfunction and disengage. As if it weren’t enough, that rainstorms or heavy snowfall limits your vision! The addition of a broken light can make a bad situation worse and if the roads are wet and slippery to boot you could be in for a difficult and bumpy ride.

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Broken traffic lights might not always be somebody’s fault but fixing it is somebody’s responsibility. If inability to repair these signals within a reasonable amount of time is shown, you should act on it, as this is something that shouldn’t be tolerated by motorists. Excuses like that they are waiting on Eskom or that the cables or controller boxes have been stolen, are just that, empty excuses and there isn’t any use for justifications, just action!

Impact Of Load Shedding On Road Safety

Load shedding has an impact on every aspect of our lives and this includes the time we spend on the road. Even though your car may not be running on electricity that does not mean you are not affected when a power outage hits and you’re on the road. Power outages could remove important road safety features making it difficult to get to your destination safely and in time.

Consider the fact that traffic lights also depend on electricity for them to keep order at intersections. Once the lights go out, you are basically alone on the road and it could end up in a battle between you and other motorists. Most of the frustration on the road is caused by important devices that don’t work as they should, and a defective traffic light can be hazardous for everyone on the road.

Your Attitude Can Go A Long Way In Preventing Collisions

The average person like you and me don’t have much control over power failures or the effects thy have on traffic lights but this doesn’t mean you can’t do your part to reduce the severity thereof. By being polite and having the correct driving attitude as well as being aware of your emotions and refraining from road rage you can make things safer for you and those on the road with you.

Another good way to ease the discomfort is to arm yourself with knowledge. Get information on the load shedding schedules and are acquainted with it. Then try to avoid these times as far as possible and use it to avoid being stuck on road with a defective light during rush hour.

The Dangers Of Malfunctioning Traffic Light

In busy cities like Johannesburg or Cape Town, we have too many cars and too little road. Along with this, there are simply too many accounts of major intersections being down for longer than a day. For many the stance of things has gotten unendurable.

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You Can’t Help But Wonder If Anybody intends to do Anything About It

While it may be frustrating enough to be delayed by road upgrades, it is, in a manner, understandable. On the other hand, if you are stuck in a traffic jam due to a malfunctioning traffic light that has been down for more than a week, it becomes excruciating and unbearable not to mention totally unacceptable.

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Effective organization is needed since the limited space could quickly become overflowing with cars, causing chaos under the motorists, and having disastrous consequences for both the individual road user as well as our economy in a whole.

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Having inefficiencies of this nature will not only cost the country’s financial system billions it doesn’t do much for our reputation as a world-class country. Any tourist will be appalled if they had to deal with this and if we as a country can’t get the basics right how do we expect to flourish as a nation.

Broken Lights Because Broken Lives

If a traffic light doesn’t work, it has a ripple effect, which could cause problems in other aspects of our lives. Being on a busy road is already stressful enough! Add to that the delays caused by a broken light and then bring into calculation the anxiety that comes with being late and you could find yourself in a dangerous situation.

When people are aggravated and impatience may cause them to unnecessary risks and if you don’t keep your cool you could end up in the way of someone else’s mistake!
Too make matter even dicier, it has been found that people use their cell phones twice as much during a traffic jam. Since all the other motorists are also stuck and many of them are on a schedule, you will find a lot of people talking on their phones while trying to navigate through traffic. It’s logical that their full attention is not where it should be and they are not concentrating fully on the road.

Look Both Ways And Other Advice

Recognize your limitations, like the fact that you have no control over a broken light. In reality, there is nothing you can about the matter. The sooner you accept this, the less likely you are to vent your frustrations on the roads. Road rage will only make matters worse and there is no need for you to contribute towards the problem. Isn’t it bad enough as it is?

Rather take a deep breath and slow down. If you are more relaxed, you will be a more cautious driver and if you are not going that fast it increases the time you have to evade possible obstacles or dangers! It is suggested, where possible, that drivers plan their routes and leave early to try to avoid the heavy traffic periods- this may also reduce the urge to rush.

What To Do If A Traffic Light Doesnt Work

If you pull up at an intersection to find that a broken light you may be confused as to what to do next. If there is no guidance from the traffic light, it could leave motorists in the dark, literally and figuratively, and you could be totally unaware about what actions to take next.

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Rule 1: Exercise More Caution If Conditions Are Not Normal

Travelling on a busy road without a traffic light is not only an absolute nightmare it is also extremely dangerous. Many have felt the strain caused by faulty traffic lights and know that the frustration and anger you experience could cause you to lose focus.

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Therefore, it is important that you stay aware of your surroundings if you want to keep yourself safe.

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Rule 2: Revert To Right-Of-Way Guidelines And Follow The Rules Of The Road

If the light is broken, the rule of thumb is to revert to right-of-way guidelines. These guidelines are, generally speaking, the same on almost any road and the chances of going wrong if you follow them are little to nothing.

The first thing you should remember us that if a traffic lights is out of order it does not mean you don’t have to stop. Think of it as a stop street and follow the rules as such.
The second thing it says is that when a light is broken at a cross street intersection it becomes a four way stop and you should act accordingly. The first one in is the first one out. If you are the first one to stop at the light then you should be the first to drive away.
If you are behind a car and he drives away, you have to wait for all the vehicles from the other stops to enter the crossing before you can make your move. Be patient as this could mean you will have to hang around until three other vehicles from three different directions pass.

Furthermore, if two cars approach the intersection at a 90-degree angle perpendicular to each other at almost the same time, the driver on the left should wait for the driver on the right to make the first move.

When two vehicles approach the intersection head-on things are a bit different though. A different right-of-way rule comes into play that states that whichever one of these two persons who turn left must yield to oncoming traffic.

Rule 3: Communication Is Key

Motorists who have a specific route, travels the same roads regularly and therefore he will notice that things aren’t as they normally are. If you notice a defunct traffic light, you should act appropriately. Don’t just follow the rules of the road but let other drivers know that there is a problem if possible.

If you want to reach your destination safely and a broken light is in your way you should take car to keep your eyes and ears open. Use the car s lights or horn to communicate with the drivers of the other vehicles, and if hand gestures are used, make sure they are not offensive.

Delays frustrate us all when traffic lights are out but if we all act on it; the road will become a bloody mess! Being impolite wonメt make you move any faster and it isn’t the other drivers fault that the light is broken.

The Short And Long Of Broken Traffic Lights

Almost every city faces the problem of broken traffic lights causing chaos on their roads and you too must have experienced the stress of having to figure out how to proceed into the intersection in such a situation. Driving on busy roads isn’t pleasant to begin with and once faced with a traffic jam caused by a broken traffic people tend to become less pleasant as well.

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To make matters worse, aggregated motorists are now forced to take turns since the light isn’t there to regulate traffic flow and if left to our own devices things can become ugly. Due to this they will eventually send the police or traffic officers to the point to help direct drivers, but even this holds a range of dangers all its own.

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The Desired Long Term Solution: Broken Traffic Lights Effectively Fixed And Properly Maintained

The only safe way to deal with a broken traffic light is to fix it as soon as possible. In order for this to happen, it needs to be reported to your cities council, from where they should act on the complaint swiftly and effectively. If lights are being repaired only to fall apart again within a few months, you should question as to the quality of the work being done and take it up with higher authorities.

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It’s your duty to air your grievances as much as it is theirs to listen and act on it. If nobody wants to take responsibility for these shocking conditions on our roads how could it ever be sorted out and without an effective maintenance plan in place the situation won’t ever get better.

Short Term Solution: Be Extra Cautious At Faulty Traffic Lights.

A catastrophe is imminent if you rush into the intersection without knowing what is going to happen. If you just pull away from the four way stop the moment you realize the light is broken you could end up being hurt or hurting somebody else. Rather slow down as you approach the intersection and come to a complete stop whether or not there are other cars at the intersection.

You might want to make a move and be tempted to drive when even if it isn’t your turn, but tailgating the car in front of you in an attempt to slip through can be a big mistake. If you are unfamiliar with the area or enter into an intersection that is normally controlled by a traffic light, you could find yourself unsure of what to do. In addition to this, the stress of driving on a road that is hazardous can make you make the wrong decision and before you know it, cars have collided into one another.

Be extra alert and raise your levels of awareness if you are driving at night and the traffic light is not working. Not only does this limit your vision it also puts you in the vulnerable position of possibly being hijacked or robbed. Many vandals’ beak lights for exactly this reason and criminals are likely to see an easy target, but if you concentrate and stay attentive, you can avoid a serious situation.

Understanding How A Traffic Light Works – And Doesn’t!

When it comes to traffic lights, there is something both creepy and magical about the fact that they sometimes change the moment you pull up. Do they really know you are there and how is this possible? Why don’t all lights do this or are they defective?

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When you are driving on country roads or in the suburbs you will find many if not all traffic lights have built in detectors, which allow them to know how the cars they are monitoring are moving. When a car arrives at an intersection it will detect that you have stopped and if there is no traffic on any of the other stops it will probably change. They also pick up things like how many cars are stacked up at an intersection in order for it to control the length of the light and when cars have entered a turn lane so it can activate the arrow light.

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In a large city where there is a lot of traffic regardless of what time of day it is traffic lights don’t have a detector. They operate the same way in spite of the traffic flow since they work on timers and are therefore preset to work that way.

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The Inner Workings Of A Traffic Light

They detect cars with a variety of technologies and although you might think all of them operate with lasers, in actuality they work in a much simpler way. The most common technique that is used is called the inductive loop, which consists of a coil of wire that is embedded within the road’s surface.

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An inductance meter is then attached to the coil in order for them to see what the inductance of the coil is. Once a car is parked over the coil, the inductance will be larger because there is now a large steel object positioned in the loop’s magnetic field.

Simply put, its presence changes the inductance of the coil. A traffic light sensor uses the loop to test the inductance of the loop in the road on regular intervals so that the moment the inductance rises, it knows there is a car waiting and can act accordingly.

Making The Roads Accessible For All

Traffic lights are there to make driving safer and easier. They are programmed to help drivers get from point A to point B in one piece. This is not just true when it comes to handling traffic flow; they also assist people with special needs.

If you are colorblind then you won’t have to worry that you will misinterpret the signal! The engineers of the traffic light kept in mind that they might have problems with distinguishing the color green and therefore they made it so that it gives out a light that has a mixture of green and blue in it.

Beware The Malfunctioning Light

These are just a few of the advantages that come because of the inner makings of a traffic light and if you consider this, you will realize how important it is that they are in working order! If a light is broken it could cause a magnitude of problems.

One of these could be the backflow of cars that are created, keeping people in queues as they wait for the light to turn green, but to no avail. Traffic jams will be the least of the problems though, so keep your wits about you if you encounter a defective traffic light!

Who Are Eligible To Import Used Cars To South Africa?

Many of the used cars in South Africa are imported from certain countries at extremely low prices. Due to implications concerning safety, health and the environment as well as quality compliance issues linked to importing such cars there has been seen a need to control import measure in terms of the provisions of the international trade act (act No. 71 of 2002) therefore there are only certain people who are allowed to import second hand or used cars to south Africa.

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Immigrants Are Eligible To Import Used Cars To South Africa

Private passenger motor vehicles and light delivery vans can be imported by immigrants. It will require filling out an application form and will only be considered when permanent residence status has been issued by the department of home affairs.

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Returning South African Residents Are Eligible To Import Used Cars To South Africa
The returning resident may import his/her own used passenger vehicle or light delivery van for a maximum of one vehicle per person in possession of a valid driver’s license. It is required that the vehicle be registered in the name of the returning resident for the minimum uninterrupted period of six months prior to the return.

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The Physically Disabled Are Eligible To Import Used Cars To South Africa

South African citizen are eligible to import a specially designed motor vehicle which will suit the disabled persons personal needs and requirements.

You are going to have to complete an application form and have proof from a medical practitioner that the applicant is in fact disabled and does in fact require such a specialized vehicle.

If You Inherit You Are Eligible To Import A Used Car To South Africa

If you have inherited a car from someone overseas you are eligible to import the car to South Africa. Once again an application form must be completed. the heir must supply a copy of his/her south African I.D or passport, a copy of the will, a copy of the diseased ID or passport, a copy of the motor vehicle registration certificate in the name of the deceased and a copy of the death certificate. The imported vehicle may not be sold or disposed of within a period of two years from date of importation.

Collectors Of Vintage Vehicles Are Eligible To Import Used Cars To South Africa

If you are a collector you can import used vintage vehicles to South Africa. Vintage vehicles are defined as vehicles that are 40 years old or older.

Racing Cars

Racing cars may be imported by racing drivers. He must submit a copy of his/her international, national or regional motorsport South Africa competition racing car driver’s license and a written confirmation, a copy of the import permit.

If You Are Eligible

If you are eligible to import used cars to South Africa you can now go online and search the thousands of sites that can cater to your individual needs. Remember, you should do your research well because it won’t be the same returning this car. The dealership is not just around the corner and you can’t just drop in with a query. Be diligent and cautious.

The best used cars in South Africa

Here are some of the best choices of used cars to purchase in South Africa.

The High Mileage Mercedes Benz

I don’t recommend buying a car with high mileage at all and many people out there would think three times before buying a used car with more than six figures on its odometer. When it comes to Mercedes Benz though I have to say it is the exception to the rule. You really actually cant go wrong buying a high mileage Mercedes Benz since Mercedes are renowned for their ability to rack up some mileage and still perform absolutely perfectly. Like fine wine these cars seem to get better with age but not if the car has not been maintained properly. Even Mercedes can’t handle high mileage if it has not been regularly serviced. There for it is important to get a full service history book on your high mileage Mercedes to make sure the car has been well looked after.

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The Audi A8

A used car bargain hunter tip I can supply you with is to look for less popular models used cars made by reputable manufactures. The Audi A8 is a perfect example of this. Although it really is an attractive car it never really became popular. The reason for this is really not clear since it is a beautiful car, but maybe it was just overshadowed by Audi A4 and its humungous success. Whatever the reason may be you are now the lucky son of a gun who gets to gain from this. If you are in the market for a luxury used car you can now buy an Audi A8 for a fraction of the price. Even if the Audi A8 is not your kind of car you will still be able to find something you like if you just do a bit of research.

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The Volkswagen Corrado VR6

Introduced in 1988 the Corrado was manufactured up until 1995. The general public never seemed to get the car and was left unfazed by this three door hatchback. It has been described as a Porche on a budget, yet it still seemed too pricey at the time for it to really take off. The Corrado is too young to be called a classic and too old to be sporting a hefty price tag meaning you get to pick up a sporty reliable used car for a steal.

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The Ford Fiesta

The ford fiesta is flooding the market right now. They are easy, simple, no fuss cars that are reliable and cheap. They get you from point A to point B relatively quickly in a relatively comfortable manner. Plus the cars are small and these nippy little cars are extremely fuel efficient. They are already dirt cheap if you buy one new and because of the huge excess amount on the market, finding an even cheaper one in a used car lot won’t be that hard.

Why You Should Buy a Used Car in South Africa

If you are on a tight budget, then buying used cars in South Africa will get you the best vehicles for the least amount of money.

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Pros of Buying a Used Car for the Foreigner

Buying will be cheaper in the end than renting if you are planning on having the car for two months or more.

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Gives you the ability to travel across borders with fewer restrictions and paper work.

Gives you the ability to fit custom camping or 4×4 equipment to your vehicle.

And The Cons Of Buying A Used Car?

Cars are likely to be older with a higher mileage.

Run the risk of breakdowns meaning extra time and cost you might not have planned for.

The paper work involved in buying a car can take time and become quite frustrating if you don’t know the system.

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Buying a Used Car could be All Around Cheaper!

If you go about things the smart way the chances are that you could be driving away with a car you wouldn’t have been able to afford had you bought it new. Also with the economy the way it is car dealerships are really feeling the blow! The positive side of this is that the consumers win in a bear market. As used car dealerships ultimately have to bring prices down.

Not to mention the ton of money you will save on your insurance premium for a used car over a new one. New cars also depreciate very rapidly during the first couple of years. The moment you drive a new car off the lot it starts and when you reach the first traffic light it has depreciated by at least R2000 or more. Most new cars lose up to 40% of its original value in the first three years.

It is possible for you to find an excellent deal on a quality used car in excellent condition and unlike new cars that are priced perfectly, there’s actually room for negotiation on the price if you buy a used car.

Buying a Used Car is a More Pleasant Experience!

Buying from a private owner can be a lot less stressful and certainly more informal than buying from the dealer. Also the internet has made it not only very easy to buy a used car; it now is also possible for you to easily track a cars history using its VIN number.

All in all, in the end your decision comes down to two things. What you can afford and what is reliable and save.

If You Are Buying I Suggest:

That you do a thorough vehicle inspection.

That you check vehicle service history.

That you take it for independent A.A roadworthy test if you need some assurance.

That you make sure the car is not a code 3 on the registration paper as this means there was a accident and the car has had damage because of it.

Test Driving a Used Car in south Africa

Whether you are buying used cars privately, through a dealership or on-line, when buying a used car in South Africa it’s always a good idea to take the car for a test drive before putting your name to anything.

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What You Need

For obvious reasons you need to bring your driver’s license.

For good measure also bring some other form of photo identification.

Bring your insurance information also won’t hurt.

A good idea is too also bring a notepad and some paper for taking notes throughout the process.

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Before You Even Get Into The Car Do A Preliminary Test

Check the wheel alignment as well as tire condition.

Check the rest of the body for rust but remember most of the damage is where you can’t see it, underneath the car.

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Once In the Driver’s Seat There Are A Few Things to Consider before Even Turning the Key.

See if the car is in an overall good condition.

Check the seats, carpet, switches, mirrors and headliners to see if they are in an acceptable condition. Sit in the seat and feel if you are comfortable. Is it in god repair and can you adjust your seat.

Look around you to ensure you have an unobstructed 360 degree view.

Now check all the safety features. Does the horn work windshield wipers, safety belts, turn signals etc?

Start the Car

When you start the car it shouldn’t be hard to turn the key in the ignition and it should turn over on the first try.

Check the gears and see if they shift smoothly and easily. Is the clutch easy to engage or are there some abnormal sounds?

Take It on the Road

Test the car in an empty street where you can speed up and then slam on the brakes. A load squealing and shaky steering are signs of bad break health.

See if the car has good acceleration, on the highway and from the stop street. Can the car reach the pace it needs to as to merge with the flow of traffic?

How does the car handle and how easy is it to steer as well as park in a variety of different types of parking spaces.

Can the car idle steadily at a stop without seizing and are there any strange noises when turning. The CV joints can be checked by making tight slow circles with the steering turned full one way then the other. Listen out your window for any unusual sounds while doing this.

Also listen for any other strange sounds you might hear. Wind whistling through a window that cannot close properly or any metal rattling.

Before You Decide

Take a few minutes to inspect the car after the drive for any fluid leaking. Smoke or any overwhelming odors are also a bad indication. Lastly remember to take your time before you sign anything and to be consistent in testing the vehicle you wish to buy

Thing to Do After Buying a Used Car in South Africa

In many ways purchasing a certified used cars in South Africa makes excellent financial sense. There are a few things you should do after buying your used car to ensure you are satisfied and that the car looks its best.

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If you put your signature to paper the deal is basically done. Now the used car needs to be re-registered to you, the new owner at the department of licensing and registration.
Within 21 days of signing the contract you should register it at the department of licensing and registration. For this you will need these documents:

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Change of ownership/sale of motor vehicle form
Roadworthy certificate
Original registration certificate
Bank release certificate
Current license disk
Drivers license
Traffic register Number
Address in South Africa
It takes about 2-3 days for registration to be completed

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Clean it

Don’t rely on what has already been cleaned! Wash your car, clean underneath the hood and your undercarriage. Remember the previous owner could have missed certain components.

Cleaning the engine bay and keeping it clean throughout its life will ensure you and your mechanic an unobstructed view of areas prone to leaking.

Also clean the rest of the car. Strip the old wax as it tends to build up in certain areas and get a good new wax. If your car was owned by a smoker and you want to get rid of that smell use dryer seats and put them underneath the seats as they absorb some odor. Clean windows with white vinegar before using a window cleaner as this will remove possible nicotine stains. A clean car just seems newer.

Check it

The tires: the tires may be worn and in many cases the former owner has not replaced his tires as often as he should have. Always check the inside tire wall for wear as regular visual inspections may not reveal balding or uneven wear.

Some scaly used car dealerships switch good tires for bad and they conceal damage with a shiny tire concoction, making them look new. If you use your hand and reach over to the far side wall it shouldn’t feel bald. Look for budges, rips, cracks and items that may be lodged in the treads or tire wall.

The Brakes: although rear drum brakes are hard to visually inspect disc brakes aren’t and if taken on a drive you can feel the brakes as well. Look for noticeable grooves in the disc that look like old school records. This indicates some problem with the brake shoe. Test the car in an empty street where you can speed up and then slam on the brakes. A load squealing and shaky steering are signs of bad break health. For the best safety rather go to a mechanic to replace the bra.