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As most people living in Eswatini will realise we are experiencing a high rate of traffic all over the country and not just in the major centres like Mbabane and Manzini.

The sad fact is that coupled with this increase in traffic the standard of driving has deteriorated to a really pathetic state. Most drivers treat traffic lights and stop signs for instance as an optional control. At any robot in the country observe what occurs and in many cases under the noses of the traffic police.

Most drivers it would seem are unaware that there is a lever in every car that operates what is called an indicator, warning other road users that you will be turning left or right, (it could however, be because we have lots of secret agents on secret missions that want to keep you in suspense about their intentions!) that this feature is under-utilised.

Hazard lights, yes this feature is used extensively unlike the indicator but in many cases for the wrong reasons. Many drivers seem to feel that as long as you use this, you can stop in dangerous places or hold up traffic while you have a chat. In short there is simply a total disregard for the rules of the road all over the country. Now unfortunately our Traffic Department loves road blocks. These you can count on finding all along the Manzini Mbabane Highway, jamming up traffic, but what do they achieve?  

There are also speed traps, which I have absolutely no problem with, however, it is how these speed traps are set up.  For instance a month ago on the road to Sidvokodvo at Nhlambeni a trap was setup that caught motorist as they entered the 60 kph zone.
Most people who were caught were doing 65-68 kph as they were in the process of slowing before the sign. It would seem that this trap was purely for opportunistic fund raising purposes as it seems most of those caught were still in an 80kph zone!

Jay walking is another. Someone will carefully cross a road looking left and right in a quiet section of town and suddenly they are pounced on for jay-walking and receive a E60 fine.  Observe the same area for days and the public and police themselves have been observed doing the same thing with no repercussions. Maybe the Traffic Department could clarify the crime of Jay-walking so that we all understand it, say with an article in the paper. I really feel some serious steps to educate all road users needs to be taken as one can be sure that traffic is only going to increase.

Fred du Preez

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