Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > TravelBuzz
Reload this Page >

Odd Driving Customs

Odd Driving Customs

Old Jun 10, 06, 4:33 pm
  #46  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: MAN/JNB
Programs: KL/BMI/BA
Posts: 381
South Africa

Slow moving vehicles will drive in the hard shoulder/emergency lane of the freeway to allow faster moving vehicles to pass-this is unheard of and quite a serious offence here in the UK.

The emergency lane is also there for the benefit of minibus taxi drivers during rush hour when the lines of traffic come to a standstill on the freeways around Johannesburg. The hundreds of minibus Taxis just drive at high speed down the emergency lane and push in at the front of the line of traffic much to the annoyance of all the other drivers who are waiting.

Making U-turns across the centre of the freeway is quite common in South Africa.

During the 1980's & 1990's when I lived in South Africa it was quite the norm to drink and drive. Whilst it was officially illegal, offenders were rarely booked by the police as long as they were not involved in an accident.

I once observed a traffic officer telling a very drunk driver (could barely walk straight) to get back into his bakkie (pick up truck) and "go straight home-do not stop at anymore bars along the way". I believe the police are now clamping down on this practice as a result of the high number of road deaths every year and there have been a number of arrests recently- unless the offender and the police officer can agree to an "on the spot fine" (Bribe).

The sad thing is that South Africas "Odd Driving customs" are too numerous to list and cost many lives every year-during the month of December last year there were 1162 persons killed on South Africas roads.This is however, a slight improvement on December 2004 where 1234 persons lost thier lives on SA's roads.
simon stingray is offline  
Old Jun 10, 06, 6:12 pm
  #47  
Moderator, CoronaVirus and Hilton Honors
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: on a short leash
Programs: some
Posts: 71,086
Originally Posted by WHBM
7. Freeway exits out of the fast lane.
One of Auckland's main motorway exits was from the fast lane (until fairly recently) and caused no end of grief clogging up the motorway for miles.
Kiwi Flyer is offline  
Old Jun 10, 06, 6:14 pm
  #48  
Moderator, CoronaVirus and Hilton Honors
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: on a short leash
Programs: some
Posts: 71,086
Melbourne's hook turn is fun for novices. After doing a couple see the driver try to find a way around without any right hand turns
Kiwi Flyer is offline  
Old Jun 10, 06, 6:39 pm
  #49  
Moderator Hilton Honors, Travel News, West, The Suggestion Box, Smoking Lounge & DiningBuzz
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Programs: AS MVP Gold, Honors Diamond, Hertz Presidents Circle, National Exec Elite
Posts: 34,436
Originally Posted by TMOliver
...Still seen throughout the rural South and near Southwest, an ancient custom of respect originally applicable to pedestrians. Less often seen today is a feature from deeper in history, male pedestrians removing hats/caps as the funeral cortege passes. I know of a couple of small towns in West Texas where the entire town shuts down for a funeral, and on the road ftoward the cemetery, approaching pickups will stop and the drivers dismount, "gimme" caps in hand. A practice which says something meritorious about those who practice it, respect for others.
Indeed, indeed. Happens, thankfully, here in Hawai`i too, unlike the California Bay Area where funeral processions simply seemed to be an irritant to most drivers.

Originally Posted by taygalchi
The California "Creep": When making a left hand turn on a two way street with no left hand turn arrow, you are supposed to pull up and move almost into oncoming traffic so that when the light turns red you are halfway into your turn. When the light turns red, you and the car behind you are allowed to make your left turn.....
Yup, that's how I was taught in Texas. I find that I am the only one who does this in Hawai`i.

An odd one in Hawai`i that hasn't been mentioned: signaling for a right turn and then right before the turn moving left before turning right. It gets your attention
cblaisd is offline  
Old Jun 10, 06, 6:56 pm
  #50  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 13,768
How about New Jersey?

New Jersey has driving traditions all of its own.

Route 1 traffic lights
On Route 1, those traffic lights stay orange forever. If you came to a stop like people do in other states, the car would be rear-ended.

Jug Handles
The "Jug Handles": turn right if you want to turn left, are a real surprise! It took me a while to get use to them.

Traffic Circles
Also called "roundabouts" in some parts. The driver manual has (or had) an interesting comment at what one should do at Traffic Circles: follow the local custom!

Of course, after a month in Jersey I was shaking my head and the idiot out-of-state drivers who didn't understand the lights, jug handles and, particularly, the traffic circles!
ContinentalFan is offline  
Old Jun 10, 06, 7:51 pm
  #51  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Earth
Programs: UA MM Platinum; HH Diamond; Marriott Gold; Starwood Gold; Hyatt Discoverist; Avis Preferred Plus
Posts: 1,523
Regarding driving on the left or right:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
About 34% of the world by country population drives on the left, and 66% keeps right. By roadway miles, about 28% drive on the left, and 72% on the right.
I find that there can be lots of variance - even especially within the United States - regarding how to treat traffic signals.

In many places - Phoenix area comes to mind - Green means go, Yellow means speed up, and Red means next 2 cars can go. In other places, Yellow means slam on your brakes. (This just comes to mind, but I wonder if there's a difference in traffic codes regarding it being legal to enter the intersection on a yellow light, and being legal to be in an intersection when the light turns red. Anyone?)

I also find wide differences in motorists' habits when the light turns green. In some places - Bay Area comes to mind, as well as L.A. - you had better have the foot on the accelerator the moment the light turns green, or suffer The Horn. In other places - like the Pacific Northwest - a Green light means that one should disengage the emergency brake, perhaps start the engine, take a sip of coffee, ensure the intersection is clear, and then proceed. This is especially puzzling in Oregon and Washington, where motorists are usually so good about stopping at Yellow lights (see paragraph above), so you end up with a good 10 seconds where there is just NO activity in the intersection.
Dromomaniac is offline  
Old Jun 10, 06, 8:09 pm
  #52  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Detroit
Programs: Northwest Platinum
Posts: 1,533
Originally Posted by Dromomaniac
Regarding driving on the left or right: I find that there can be lots of variance - even especially within the United States - regarding how to treat traffic signals.

In many places - Phoenix area comes to mind - Green means go, Yellow means speed up, and Red means next 2 cars can go. In other places, Yellow means slam on your brakes. (This just comes to mind, but I wonder if there's a difference in traffic codes regarding it being legal to enter the intersection on a yellow light, and being legal to be in an intersection when the light turns red. Anyone?)

I also find wide differences in motorists' habits when the light turns green. In some places - Bay Area comes to mind, as well as L.A. - you had better have the foot on the accelerator the moment the light turns green, or suffer The Horn. In other places - like the Pacific Northwest - a Green light means that one should disengage the emergency brake, perhaps start the engine, take a sip of coffee, ensure the intersection is clear, and then proceed. This is especially puzzling in Oregon and Washington, where motorists are usually so good about stopping at Yellow lights (see paragraph above), so you end up with a good 10 seconds where there is just NO activity in the intersection.
Here in Detroit, you speed up for yellow lights and you floor it at the green lights. Traffic is bad enough without slowpokes.
sany2 is offline  
Old Jun 10, 06, 8:11 pm
  #53  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Detroit
Programs: Northwest Platinum
Posts: 1,533
Originally Posted by ContinentalFan
New Jersey has driving traditions all of its own.

Route 1 traffic lights
On Route 1, those traffic lights stay orange forever. If you came to a stop like people do in other states, the car would be rear-ended.

Jug Handles
The "Jug Handles": turn right if you want to turn left, are a real surprise! It took me a while to get use to them.

Traffic Circles
Also called "roundabouts" in some parts. The driver manual has (or had) an interesting comment at what one should do at Traffic Circles: follow the local custom!

Of course, after a month in Jersey I was shaking my head and the idiot out-of-state drivers who didn't understand the lights, jug handles and, particularly, the traffic circles!
Calling them orange lights seems to be an interesting custom. Here we call them yellow lights.

What about michigan Lefts, where you go past the intersection, do a u turn, then turn right, all to get left. Is that what you are refering to as a milk jug? Or are you referring to when you turn right to go left?
sany2 is offline  
Old Jun 10, 06, 8:14 pm
  #54  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Earth
Programs: UA MM Platinum; HH Diamond; Marriott Gold; Starwood Gold; Hyatt Discoverist; Avis Preferred Plus
Posts: 1,523
Originally Posted by sany2
Traffic is bad enough without slowpokes.
Oh, I completely agree.

I am always trying to encourage the expeditious flow of traffic.

At least, that's what I tell the police officers.

On another note, I think it came up in another FT thread: Motorists putting on their hazard flashers when coming to an abrupt stop, especially on highways. Seems more common in Europe than in the U.S., at least as far as I have seen.
Dromomaniac is offline  
Old Jun 10, 06, 10:38 pm
  #55  
Moderator Hilton Honors, Travel News, West, The Suggestion Box, Smoking Lounge & DiningBuzz
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Programs: AS MVP Gold, Honors Diamond, Hertz Presidents Circle, National Exec Elite
Posts: 34,436
Originally Posted by Dromomaniac
...In some places - Bay Area comes to mind, as well as L.A. - you had better have the foot on the accelerator the moment the light turns green, or suffer The Horn....
One of the wonderfully odd customs in the part of Hawai`i where I live is that honking the horn is considered incredibly rude. It is to be done for situations of imminent danger. I have been at intersections where someone was inattentive to it being his/her turn to go and we waited right through the light cycle because it would have been rude to honk.

It's very, very nice after too many years in the Bay Area.

The last two times I heard a horn honk, I (and everyone else around me) looked: California plates both times.
cblaisd is offline  
Old Jun 11, 06, 2:44 am
  #56  
cpx
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: 99654
Programs: Many
Posts: 6,448
Originally Posted by sany2
What about michigan Lefts, where you go past the intersection, do a u turn, then turn right, all to get left. Is that what you are refering to as a milk jug? Or are you referring to when you turn right to go left?
New Jersey jug handles are one of a kind. you go right before the intersection
and wait at the traffic light to make your left. You cannot make a simple left.
(its an official term, not just a local custom)
I've rarely seen these anywhere else on the planet.
cpx is offline  
Old Jun 11, 06, 3:44 am
  #57  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Kettering, Ohio USA
Posts: 554
Simon Stingray you are so right. One other thing about South Africa is that there are many auto/pedestrian accidents. I've been told by about 3 or 4 white South African males that if they're driving and accidentally strike a black pedestrian they will not or would not stop, but would simply drive to the nearest police station and report it. They say if they hit a black pedestrian chances are a crowd would gather and create "trouble".

Road rage also is incredible down there.
bluewatersail is offline  
Old Jun 11, 06, 7:54 am
  #58  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 293
Originally Posted by BigBopper
The custom here in NY is to drive with a fist with the middle finger extended.
LOL, but youíre forgetting to have your window rolled down, so you can curse the people out. Also to have your hand always ready to beep the horn. :-)
deltajfk is offline  
Old Jun 11, 06, 8:03 am
  #59  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MCO
Programs: Acapulco - Gold, Panama - Red, Timothy Leary 8 Mile High Club
Posts: 24,399
Originally Posted by sany2
Calling them orange lights seems to be an interesting custom. Here we call them yellow lights.
I think I recall reading them described as "amber" in a state-issued driver license book.

Although, I can think of one Amber that merits a red light.
BamaVol is offline  
Old Jun 11, 06, 10:38 am
  #60  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: San Francisco
Programs: AA 3mm Plat
Posts: 10,070
Originally Posted by BamaVol
I think I recall reading them described as "amber" in a state-issued driver license book.

Although, I can think of one Amber that merits a red light.
I call them "amber", my kids call them yellow and tease me. But then what I call trousers they insist on calling pants. Canadian with Californian kids ...

First time I was being driven in Milan, I asked my friend why she stopped at some red lights and not at others. "Some red lights are more important than others," was the straight faced reply.
Teacher49 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: