Load shedding throws road rules out the window

Eskom's load shedding has affected every aspect of life. Food goes bad in refrigerators, buildings are stuffy as air conditioners go on the blink.

One lady who works in a supermarket told us in the taxi that the owner often had to dump food that had thawed because it was no longer safe for consumption.

A clever in the taxi asked her why her boss did not make an announcement on radio for poor people to rush to the store to collect the food before it goes bad.

That sounds like a good ideato me but I doubt if the supermarket owner will pay for an announcement on top of losing thousands of rands' worth of stock.

But load shedding has added another concern for us road users. When the lights are off, the robots do not work. The intersections are supposed to operate as four-way stops.

Motorists have forgotten what the rules are regarding a four-way stop. They have turned them into a dicey game, where anyone crosses when he wants.

It is the game of bullies who intimidate other drivers into braking hard to avoid being hit. The chaos that ensues is frightening to behold. Most drivers do not know why the other drove into them or why they were not supposed to cross at that time.

This is the time when passengers pray hard for deliverance from crashes and smashes and death. The surprising thing is that taxi drivers know the rules very well. They do not cross when they are not supposed to. But they have a tendency to go across in a group.

Two taxis that have the right of way will go across followed by 10 more. Then the taxis will allow the other three sides to go their own way before sending another 10 through.

It seems that motorists are catching on because they wait patiently while this happens. Some non-Gauteng motorists have nearly caused accidents with their ignorance of this rule.

One huge 4x4 nearly did for us recently. The women were screaming and throwing themselves about. I sat quietly in my seat because I once heard that one's neck is often broken by hysterical fellow passengers rather than the impact of the crash.

I dislike people who scream and try to hide under my bum in a taxi. Instead of remaining calm, they unnerve everybody and add unnecessary drama.

I was once in a taxi that had a near miss on the M2 several years ago. One passenger was one of those ladies who knows everything and says it with a loud voice.

A huge horse and trailer passed very close to the taxi and rocked it violently. Mrs Opinion shrieked, "Yo yo tshoo" and buried herself in her neighbour's lap. The neighbour had a baby of about nine months who stared unblinkingly at the shrieker.

After some time, the baby said "tshoo" at the coward. She kept on trying out the word to howls of laughter in the taxi. The shrieker was quiet for the rest of the trip.